UPDATE: Death toll rises in deadly Canadian hockey team bus crash (video)

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A small town in western Canada is grief-stricken over the devastating crash involving a bus carrying the town’s junior hockey team which collided with a semi-truck Friday, while on their way to a playoff game.

There were 29 people on board the bus, including the driver. Friday night, it was announced that 14 were killed in the crash, and another 15 others were injured.

Saturday, the death toll climbed to 15, as another person died. Of the remaining 14 injured, three have been described as being in critical condition.

The team’s coach and team captain were among those killed, authorities have confirmed.

The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, with the players all reportedly between 16 and 20 years old.

A GoFundMe account set up to help support the families has already surpassed over $1.5 million.

Fox News reported:

The Broncos were on their way to Game 5 of the semi-finals against the Nipawin Hawks. Nipawin is about 164 miles from Saskatoon. After receiving word of the crash, the Hawks announced on Facebook that the game had been canceled.

The truck driver was not injured during the crash and initially was detained but has since been released, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said. The official added that an investigation was underway and the cause of the crash was not yet clear.

Derek Patter, one of the players who survived the crash, was photographed holding hands with two other players in the hospital. Patter’s father shared the image on social media.

Tom Straschnitzki told CBC News his son, Ryan, was injured in the crash.

“He’s alive and breathing, and from what we know he has a broken back, and as of now, can’t feel anything from his waist down,” Straschnitzki said.

A press conference was held Saturday afternoon with updates on the tragedy:

The Humboldt Broncos released the following statement on their website Friday night:

The Humboldt Broncos organization has experienced incredible tragedy. While en route to Nipawin, the Broncos bus was involved in a terrible accident which has resulted in multiple fatalities and serious injuries.

Broncos President, Kevin Garinger has made the following statement: “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.”

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