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Canadian city mourns: 15 die when truck, bus collide



HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan – A hockey arena became the epicenter of Sunday's mourning for a small Canadian town when friends and relatives gathered to complain about 15 dead after a semi-trailer in a youth hockey team bus in Fourteen were also injured, some critically, in a collision that tumbled one country, its national sport, and the hockey-obsessed city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

The bus had 29 passengers, including the driver, when he collapsed at around 5 pm Friday on Highway 35, police said. Among the dead are Bronco head coach Darcy Haugan, team Captain Logan Schatz and radio announcer Tyler Bieber.

Inhabitants of this city of less than 6,000 have left flowers, team jerseys and personal tributes on the steps of the entrance of the arena, forming a makeshift memorial. A tribute included a power dinner box, a favorite meal of one of those killed.

"We are heartbroken and completely devastated," said Team President Kevin Garinger, who hosted one of the players involved in the accident. "We will never forget the members of our Broncos family who have been taken away and injured."

Canadians have become mourners as they have learned more about the deceased's identity on the bus driving the Humboldt-Broncos hockey team to a crucial Friday playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks.

"The worst nightmare has happened," League President Bill Chow said as his eyes filled with tears.

Canadian police said the truck driver was initially detained, but has since been released and given psychiatric help. Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Curtis Zablocki, said it was too early to name a cause for the crash.

"A whole country is shocked and sad," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "For the entire Humboldt community: We are here for you, as neighbors, as friends and as Canadians, we mourn with you."

In a tweet, President Donald Trump said he had phoned Trudeau to offer their condolences to the families

Hassan Masri, an emergency medical officer at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital, who has worked in war-torn Syria, said the crash was a reminder him to an air raid.

Photos of the wreckage showed the twisted trailer with most of its wheels in the air and the bus on its side with its rear part destroyed. The force of the crash sent both vehicles into the ditch at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Aerial photographs showed that the roof of the bus was peeled off and its front end was destroyed. The trailer of the truck lay in a shattered crowd nearby, and bags of peat moss lay everywhere. The tractor part of the truck was intact and lay on the passenger side.

The semi-trailer would have had to submit to a stop sign before crossing the freeway on which the hockey bus drove. At the southeastern corner of the intersection, there are a number of trees that restrict the view of both streets.

The police said many issues need to be investigated, including the weather conditions at that time and mechanical problems with the vehicles

The tragedy recalled an accident in 1

986, when the Swift Current Broncos' team bus hit an icy highway slipped and collapsed in late December and killed four players

He also brought Canadians to a country where hockey plays, tears being a way of life.

The Broncos are a tight-knit team that dyed their hair blond for the playoffs. While most of the players came from another country in western Canada, they were set up by families in the small town of Humboldt.

A night watch will take place on Sunday evening on the ice of the ice hockey team.

Earlier Weekend Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench, wearing a green and yellow Broncos jersey, hugged the people in the Elger Petersen Arena in Saskatchewan to comfort each other and learn more.

"It's overwhelming." Münch said. "We are a small community, some of these children have been in the team for several years, many grew up in the community and everyone knows each other."

Several crisis workers supported relatives and friends. [

19659008] "Everyone's just so devastated, those poor boys," said Penny Lee, a Humboldt resident.

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior & # 39; A & # 39; Hockey League under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Ice Hockey League. It is open to North American players between 16 and 20 years.

Michelle Straschnitzki, who lives in Airdrie, Alberta, said her 18-year-old son Ryan was taken to a hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

"We talked to him, but he said he could not feel his lower extremities, so I do not know what's going on," she said. "I'm freaking out, I'm so sad for all the teammates and I lose my thoughts."

Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, said he knows players in the team.

"I think this is one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan, especially as hockey is as ingrained as we grow up here."

The hockey world issued condolence messages, including Saskatchewan the native Mike Babcock, who is the Toronto Maple Leafs coach.

Babcock, fighting tears, said that "it has to rip the heart out of your chest."

The Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg jets were named "BRONCOS" instead of their nameplates on Saturday night.

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