Belfast sends love to Canadian team after bus tragedy | UTV


Hockey fans in Belfast have joined those around the world in sending sympathies to a Canadian junior team caught up in a fatal bus crash that claimed 14 lives.

The Humboldt Broncos from Saskatchewan were travelling to the town of Nipawin for a playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks when their bus was involved in a collision with a truck.

The side, whose players are all aged between 16 and 20, has been devastated by the tragedy.

It has not yet been officially made public how many of those killed were players or coaching staff – however, the sister of Broncos head coach Darcey Haugan tweeted to say simply: “My brother didn’t make it …”

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There were 28 people on board the bus and, of the 14 to survive, three are understood to be in critical conditions while the others were also taken to hospital.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led the tributes, saying: “I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.”

In Northern Ireland, fans of the local Belfast Giants team expressed shock and sadness at the news about the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League side.

The Twitter account of a well-known group of fans known as Boomerang Corner posted to say the tragedy was “completely and utterly devastating” and to send love from Belfast.

Giants captain Blair Riley and a number of his Giants teammates, including netminder Jackson Whistle, also tweeted about the tragedy.

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Canadian-born Riley said: “Thinking of all the players, families and medical personnel/first responders involved in the terrible bus tragedy …

“The hockey community always comes together in times of need.”

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The Elite League, the UK’s top flight league in which the Giants play, is holding its playoff finals this weekend.

A minute’s silence was held ahead of the first game, followed by applause, to allow fans to pay their respects.

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