In one of the deadliest road accidents in years, a truck collided with a small bus transporting mostly elderly people in central Canada, killing at least 15 people.
The collision occurred at the intersection of two main roads near Carberry, Manitoba, 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Winnipeg. The bus passengers were en route to a casino in Carberry, according to a casino representative quoted by CBC News.
Assistant Commissioner Rob Hill, who commands the Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police, stated, "We have confirmed the deaths of at least fifteen individuals as a result of this collision."
Hill stated at a televised news conference, "Sadly, this day will be remembered in Manitoba and across Canada as one of tragedy and incredible sadness."
Nirmesh Vadera, who was working at a business on the side of the highway when the accident occurred, stated that he saw the bus ablaze in the vegetation on the side of the road and rescue crews attempting to extricate people from the burning vehicle.
"Everyone was trying to get them away from the fire, including the [firefighters] and medical personnel," he explained.
The bus was transporting approximately 25 passengers; according to the police, ten were hospitalized.
The occupants of both vehicles were alive, according to the police, who declined to speculate on who may have caused the collision.
Images of what appeared to be a large van or bus ablaze in a ditch near a vehicle with a smashed engine on the road were shown on television. The road was covered in detritus, including shattered glass, a large bumper, and what appeared to be a walking aid. Additionally, blue and yellow tarps were extended out.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his "deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones today, and my thoughts are with the injured." "I cannot fathom the suffering of those affected," he said.
Premier of Manitoba Heather Stefanson stated on Twitter, "My heart breaks hearing about the tragic accident near Carberry."
In April 2018, sixteen people were killed in neighboring Saskatchewan when a vehicle collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team on a rural road. In 2019, the lorry driver was given an eight-year prison sentence.
In 1997, in the province of Quebec, a bus plunged into a ravine, killing 44 people in the deadliest traffic disaster in Canadian history.