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WestJet airlines said it was upping flights between Saskatoon and Calgary; Air Canada, Saturday afternoon, was finalizing details to help affected families.

"We can now confirm fourteen people have died as a result of this collision", a statement from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police read.

Police say the highway will be blocked for several hours and are urging drivers to avoid the area.

But the president of the Nipawin Hawks, who were scheduled to be the Broncos' opponent Friday, told the Star-Phoenix the truck had "T-boned" the bus.

The Broncos roster lists 24 players ranging in age from 16 to 21 years old, as well as three coaches.

"We don't know who has passed and we don't expect to know right away", he added.

"Words can not describe the sadness in our community tonight", Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said in a tweet.

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy well understands the "state of shock and confusion" people are feeling.

Before Saturday's game the Jets and the Blackhawks announced players from both teams would wear the word "Broncos" on the back of their jerseys during the game.

The young athletes who play in the Saskatchewan league and similar organisations often go on to play for colleges or for major junior teams across North America. "Humboldt is no exception, and today the country and the entire hockey community stands with you".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also sent his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and injured in the accident.

Myles Shumlanski, whose son Nick was involved in the crash, said a crane had been used to lift the wreckage.

NBC announcer Mike Emrick set the stage for the tribute by addressing the things, like travel, that we take for granted in every day life.

"I grew up playing hockey in Saskatchewan, so just do what you can to help out the hockey community".

The Hawks announced on Facebook that the game had been cancelled. "I am freaking out".

"They are sitting in the church just waiting to hear any good news", he said.

Hockey Canada, the governing body for the sport at grassroots levels, said the "tight-knit" hockey family will unite in the face of the tragedy.Fans and players alike shared condolences using the hashtag #PrayforHumboldt, and some hotels offered free lodging for family members.

"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 told CBC News.

650 CKOM/980 CJME via Associated Press Pastor Jordan Gadsby of Nipawin's Apostolic Church said hundreds of people, including parents and relatives of players on the bus, had gathered at the church late on Friday to seek information and solace.

Mr Opp said: "There's uncles and moms and dads waiting to hear whether their sons and nephews are OK".

'It's bad. It's absolutely awful'.

In 1986 four players from the Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos died in a bus crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan heading to a game in Regina. Multiple crisis workers were assisting in a separate arena following the horrific bus crash.