Humboldt tragedy close to home for Trinity Western University hockey team

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He said the driver was initially detained, but later released.

"The images and the injuries that I saw yesterday, really that's what they reminded me of, when there was an airstrike and a massive number of people would be coming in at the same time in awful shape", said Masri, who has done work in war-torn Syria.

Zablocki says the investigation is in its early stages, and it's too early to state a cause.

Humboldt, located at the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 20, has a population of roughly 5,600 people.

This news is truly heartbreaking, not only for the entire hockey world, but for an entire community of parents, family and friends.

"This is, I would think, one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan, especially because hockey is so ingrained in how we grow up here", he said.

"And it's always a thought in parents' and fans' minds about what could happen, and unfortunately it has happened in Humboldt".

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After 12 seasons of leading the North Peace Navigators of the Northwest Junior Hockey League, where he was coach of the year from 2011-2013, he returned to the SJHL to coach the Broncos.

The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Their team list shows the players are aged between 16 and 21. Most of the others list their hometowns as being in the province of Alberta.

"The deepest grief that you can ever imagine", Kevin Garinger, the Humboldt Broncos' team president, told the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

"We are just in utter disbelief and shock at the loss that's fallen upon us", he told CBC. He said many people were already at the rink, which is now a mobile crisis centre.

Rock Ruschkowski played against the Broncos as a member of the Milford Mustangs, who were knocked out of the playoffs this season by the Humboldt team. He is one of the most adventurous, ambitious, and loving people that I have ever been blessed to know.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police inspector Ted Monroe said at a news conference late Friday that there were "fatalities among the passengers on the bus" and "a number of serious injuries".

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Expressions of sympathy poured in from around the globe.

The crash prompted a wide display of grieving and support in Canada, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his support for Humboldt, NPR reported.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote: "I can not imagine what these parents are going through".

US President Donald Trump tweeted: "Just spoke to @JustinTrudeau to pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the bad Humboldt Team tragedy".

Mr. Trump concluded the tweet saying, "May God be with them all!"

Friday's fatal smash brought back memories of a single vehicle bus crash in December 1986, also in Saskatchewan, that killed four members of the Western Hockey League Swift Current Broncos.

Early Saturday morning, the father of Derek Patter, who survived the crash, shared an image of his son and two others "bonding and healing" in hospital.

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