No fewer than 14 people have been killed with 14 others injured after a tractor collided with a bus filled with members of a Junior League hockey team on their way to a playoff game, the Canadian authorities said.
The crash happened about 5 pm on a highway about 18 miles north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, RCMP, said; the wreck clogged traffic and caused major delays.
RCMP confirmed early Saturday morning that 28 people were on the bus, including the driver, 14 of whom were killed. The remaining 14 were taken to hospital with a range of injuries, including three in critical condition.
Investigators said a total of 28 people, including the driver, were on the bus as at late on Friday when the collision occurred.
“We are not confirming the identity of the victims at this time, including whether the deceased are players or coaches,” the police said in a statement early Saturday morning.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, in a tweet, identified the hockey team as the Humboldt Broncos. Players for the Broncos range in age from 16 to 21, according to the team’s roster.
The Broncos president, Kevin Garinger, said in a statement, “Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”
The team had been scheduled to play the Nipawin Hawks on Friday night. “Tonight’s game is canceled,” the Hawks said on Twitter.
In a Facebook post, the premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe said his province was grieving.
“Words cannot describe the loss that we feel tonight,” he said, adding that, “The news I have heard is difficult to comprehend.”
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has already reacted tweeting that he could not imagine what the parents of the players were going through.
“My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy,” he wrote on Twitter.