The RCMP have confirmed fatalities in a serious collision on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, involving a semi-truck and a hockey team’s bus on Friday.
Nipawin RCMP said the collision happened about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, near the junction of Highway 335.
Officers also confirmed a number of injuries.
On Twitter, the Nipawin Hawks, an Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) team, confirmed that the Humboldt Broncos team bus was involved in the collision.
“Tonight’s game is cancelled. The accident being talked about involved Humboldt team bus. We ask during this time that you don’t send messages. When more information is given we will update,” the Nipawin Hawks posted on Facebook.
Watch below: Sheldon Kennedy, who was involved in the 1986 fatal bus crash involving the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos hockey club, reacts to hearing about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on Friday.
The two teams were set to play Friday night in Nipawin.
“We’re just waiting to hear [details],” said Rick Shultz, chairman of the board for the SJHL. “We just know there has been an accident.
“It’s not very good.”
RCMP Insp. Ted Munro will speak to the media at a press conference being held at F Division Headquarters in Regina at 9:15 p.m. local time.
RCMP said families can gather at the Nipawin Apostolic Church and information will be provided to them as it becomes available. Emergency personnel and victim services representatives will also attend.
Edmonton native Quinn Schneidmiller used to play for the Broncos until he was traded in October. He spoke to Global News from his family home in Penticton, B.C. after learning of the crash and said he happened to be in Humboldt earlier this week where he saw the players from his former team.
“I can’t believe what happened,” Schneidmiller said. “I literally hugged some of them 72 hours ago.
“It’s hard to comprehend,” he added. “I knew most of the victims pretty well.”
The Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos tweeted their condolences.
“Humboldt Broncos weighing heavy in our hearts and minds tonight,” the team said on social media.
Four members of the Swift Current Broncos were killed in a 1986 bus crash in Saskatchewan.
Watch below: (From Dec. 30, 2016) A memorial has been unveiled for four Swift Current Broncos players on the anniversary of the fatal bus crash.
Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, one of the players on that bus in 1986, also tweeted a message of support.
“Sending all my thoughts and prayers to those impacted with the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.”
Tisdale is about 200 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
Reaction to the crash was swift on social media.
View some of the tweets sent out about the crash below:
More to come…
-With files from The Canadian Press
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