At least 15 elderly people die after truck hits vehicle in Canada

At least 15 elderly people on their way to a casino were killed in the Canadian prairie province of Manitoba on Thursday after a semi-trailer truck hit the vehicle they were traveling in, the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper said.

The crash occurred near the town of Carberry in southwestern Manitoba, 170 km (105 miles) west of Winnipeg, the report said. If the death toll is confirmed, the crash would be one of the most lethal road accidents in recent Canadian history.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation showed a still photo of a white vehicle that had been completely burned out. It also showed a picture of a blue truck with a smashed-in front.

Wheelchairs and crumpled walkers remained near tarpaulins covering bodies at the accident site, the Winnipeg Free Press said. The second vehicle was operated by Handi-Transit, which transports the elderly and those with disabilities, it added.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said all available resources were being deployed to the scene. Manitoba health authorities said “mass casualty response” was under way.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lamented what he called “incredibly tragic” news.

“I’m sending my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones today, and I’m keeping the injured in my thoughts. I cannot imagine the pain those affected are feeling,” he said.

“My heart breaks hearing the news of the tragic accident near Carberry,” Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said on Twitter.

In neighboring Saskatchewan, 16 people died in April 2018 after a truck hit a bus transporting a junior hockey team on a rural road. The truck driver was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019.

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