Canada shaken as 14 killed in hockey bus crash

Nipawin, Canada: Hockey-mad Canada was in mourning on Saturday after a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team collided with a semi-trailer truck in Saskatchewan province, killing 14 people.

In a country where love of the sport is almost a religion, the crash sparked an outpouring of grief among players and fans on social media, while national political leaders expressed their sympathies.

"We can now confirm 14 people have died as a result of this collision," the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement, which did not say how many of the victims were players or coaches of the Humboldt Broncos team.

Of the total 29 people on the team bus, including the driver, 15 were taken to hospital with injuries.

"Three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature," the RCMP said.

They gave no information about the status of the truck driver.

The team comprises 24 players, all from Canada, with the youngest aged 16 and the oldest 21.

The crash took place at around 5:00 pm (2300 GMT) Friday on Highway 35 about 28 kilometers (18 miles) north of the town of Tisdale, a trading center in an overwhelmingly agricultural region of the western province.

The team was heading north for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks.

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