The RCMP has confirmed that multiple people are dead after a passenger bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer unit at about 5 p.m. on Hwy. 35 about 30 km north of Tisdale Friday evening, near the junction of Hwy 335.
The RCMP confirmed there are fatalities and multiple injuries. The bus was on its way to Nipawin for a game against the Hawks. The game was cancelled.
Nipawin Apostolic Church was set up as a location for families to gather. Emergency measures and victim services personnel were to attend that site.
Several members of the hockey community in Saskatchewan and beyond expressed their condolences when the news broke.
The thoughts and prayers of the #NHLJets and all our fans are with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, their players, staff, families and friends.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 7, 2018
Political leaders, including Premier Scott Moe, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed their condolences through social media.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has set up a number for families of those involved in the accident to call. That number is 306-752-8700.
At a press conference held at 9:15 p.m.in Regina, police had few specifics, as the investigation is still ongoing and rescue workers were still on scene.
Insp. Ted Monroe of the RCMP said there are “significant” resources on scene. Fire and EMS are involved, and STARS had three air ambulances responding.
The RCMP also have several resources headed to the scene, including a collision reconstructionist.
The rescue operation was still underway as of the 9:15 press conference, and injured people were still being treated.
The focus, for now, he said, is getting proper care for the injured.
“Information is limited at this time,” Monroe said, declining to provide the number of people injured or deceased.
“With respect to the fatalities, there is next of kin (notifications) that need to be done.”
He said it was to early to determine that caused the collision, noting only that winter road conditions existed at the time of the crash. He also declined to comment on the nature of the collision.
“It’s a significant accident when you have a bus and tractor trailer collide,” he said.
According to reports, a code orange is in place at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. Additional emergency rooms have also been opened in Regina. The Saskatchewan Health Authority asked patients to use the Saskatoon City Hospital until 1 a.m. while the Royal University Hospital and St. Paul’s dealt with a high volume of trauma cases.
A GoFundMe page was set up at about 9 p.m. Friday. Within two hours, the campaign had already raised over $8,500. The campaign has a $20,000 goal.
More updates will be provided as they become available.
–With files from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix