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Humboldt Broncos team bus involved in fatal collision, social media abuzz

11:30 p.m. Update: Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger made the following statement on the team's website late Friday evening.
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11:30 p.m. Update: Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger made the following statement on the team's website late Friday evening.

“Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy. Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”

UPDATE: RCMP say there have been an unconfirmed number of fatalities and injuries in the collision of the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi truck earlier today.

The investigation is ongoing, said Insp. Ted Munro at "F" Division Headquarters in Regina at a press conference, and first responders continue to work at the scene.

“Our information is limited at this time,” he said.

With next of kin to be notified, he said it would be premature to release anything at this time regarding fatalities.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has released a telephone number for billets and family members of Humboldt Broncos to call for information. The number is 306-752-8700.

UPDATE: A location has been established in Nipawin for families to gather:

Nipawin Apostolic Church

109 – 4th Ave. East, Nipawin
Information will be provided to them there as it becomes available. Emergency Measures personnel will attend as will Victim Services representatives.

BACKGROUND: According to various reports, the bus that was carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Humboldt Broncos hasbeen involved in a fatal accident north of Tisdale.

The RCMP said a collision occured on Highway 35 near the junction of Highway 335 and that there were fatalities and injuries, but no other information was avaliable as of 7:30 p.m.

Nipawin RCMP say they, along with multiple emergency personnel, are continuing rescue efforts after a semi-trailer unit collided with the passenger bus.

Fatalities have been confirmed, as have a number of injuries.

"We are unable to confirm numbers at this time," say RCMP.

The Broncos were travelling for the fifth game of their semifinal series against the Nipawin Hawks, who announced earlier this evening that tonight's game was cancelled.

“The accident being talked about involved [the] Humboldt team bus," the Hawks said in a Facebook post.

"We ask during this time that you don’t send messages. When more information is given we will update.”

Traffic is expected to be blocked or restricted for several hours and drivers can expect major delays. For those travelling in the area, please use extreme caution around emergency personnel. If at all possible, drivers are asked to avoid the area.

From the SJHL Facebook page: The SJHL is aware of an accident involving the Humboldt Broncos bus. The SJHL has no other facts at this time. Upon being informed of the facts, the SJHL will make a release.

From Premier Scott Moe's Twitter account: Words can not describe the loss that we feel tonight. From a grieving province, thank you to first responders & medical professionals for courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Tonight, we all must pray for these families.

Social media activity has been ongoing with outpourings of support.

North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater tweeted, “Thoughts are with the people of Humboldt, friends and families of everyone affected, and the first responders assisting with this tragedy.”

SaskHockey tweeted, “We ask all members of the SaskHockey community to join us in saying a prayer for the Humboldt Broncos team and their families.”

Ralph Goodale tweeted, “Major motor vehicle collision in Saskatchewan tonight is truly devastating. Sincere condolences to families and friends of the victims. First responders are on the scene doing everything possible to help. Love + prayers to all.”

News of the crash has spread internationally. The following tweet comes from Texas Amateur Hockey, “On behalf of the hockey community in Texas and Oklahoma, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the players, families and staff of the Humboldt Broncos organization. We hurt with you and for you this evening.”

In addition, a Go Fund Me account has been established for the players and families of those involved in the collision. “Please donate, there will be a significant need for support. Funds for Humboldt Broncos.”