Canada 'in shock' at ice hockey bus crash which killed 15

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As of early Sunday morning, a crowdfunding effort on the website GoFundMe had raised more than $2.9 million for the players and families affected by the crash.

At least nine players on the Humboldt Broncos team, aged between 16 and 21, died when their team bus collided with a semi-trailer in Saskatchewan. There are so, so many people who know those involved, or have been through similar experiences.

Hayley Wickenheiser, a player from the Canadian women's hockey team, in addition to the Western and Saskatchewan Hockey Leagues and Premier Rachel Notley are among the many who have given condolences to friends and families of the team.

The number of people killed in a crash involving a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team in Saskatchewan, Canada has risen to 15 with two others in a critical condition, say police.

The crash sent shock waves through the team's small hometown.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also sent his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and injured in the accident.

A gathering place also was established for families at Nipawin Apostolic Church so they can find out information on their loved ones, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "He's also been provided with some mental health and wellness assistance", Zablocki said Saturday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and communities affected by this disgusting tragedy.

"I think it's important to keep your head up and keep praying because there's nothing you can do yourself".

"He always had a smile on his face", said Porter, who described Hunter as a "smart kid and a great hockey player" with a "great sense of humour".

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Photographs of the wreckage showed the twisted trailer with most of its wheels in the air and the bus on its side with its back portion destroyed.

The tractor-trailer would have had to yield to a stop sign before crossing over the highway that the hockey bus was travelling on. Like Poggemiller, he said trees obscure visibility at the junction and make it a risky intersection. Canadian police are looking into road conditions, weather conditions and mechanical conditions of the vehicles.

The crash has cruel echoes of 1986, when the Swift Current Broncos team bus slid off an icy highway and crashed in late December, killing four players.

"We'd hit the rumble strips or something and it was amusing, guys would laugh", said Connor McDavid in Edmonton.

"We woke up to the reality of what happened last night", Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench told Reuters.

"We talked to him, but he said he couldn't feel his lower extremities so I don't know what's going on", she said.

Support poured in from around the National Hockey League on the final night of regular season play Saturday night, as many teams held a moment of silence to honor those lost and affected by the tragedy. The Saskatchewan league is a feeder system for higher levels of hockey with many graduating to play at USA and Canadian colleges and major junior league level, while some go on to the National Hockey League.

Before becoming a coach, he played junior hockey in the league in the 1990s.