Around $4.7M raised for Humboldt Broncos after deadly bus crash

Mourners comfort each other as they look at photographs prior to a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident in Humboldt, Sask. on Sunday, April 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Support for the Humboldt Broncos and their families is pouring in after a bus carrying the junior hockey team collided with a transport truck on a Saskatchewan highway, leaving 15 people dead and injuring another 14.

The accident occurred about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, late Friday afternoon. The RCMP confirmed 29 people were on the bus at the time of the accident.

By Saturday afternoon, there was a three-hour wait at a Saskatoon blood clinic with many people eager to donate to the victims. Staff said many of the donors were first-timers eager to help those hurt in the crash.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, started by a resident of Humboldt, Sask. raised more than $4.7 million by Monday morning to help players and their families cope with expenses, two days after coming online.

A photo tweeted early on Saturday showed three players holding hands while laying side-by-side in their hospital beds.

The mother of former NHL player Colby Armstrong, who is originally from Saskatchewan, offered a place to stay in Saskatoon to families impacted by the crash.

The Canalta Hotels chain is also offering free rooms on Saturday in Melfort, Humboldt and Martensville, so family members can stay near the victims of the accident who are in hospital.

Jordan Gadsby of the Nipawin Apostolic Church said members of his community are coming together to support those in need.

On Saturday evening, Air Canada took to Twitter to offer help to those needing to travel to the province.

WestJet said it would fly larger aircraft between Calgary and Saskatoon Saturday and Sunday to help those “impacted by this tragedy … get to Saskatoon as quickly as possible.”