April 8, 2018 5:00 pm
Updated: April 9, 2018 2:54 pm

‘We are all Humboldt Broncos’: Thousands mourn at vigil for hockey players

WATCH LIVE: Hundreds gather to remember the Humboldt Broncos players and team members at community vigil

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Humboldt, Sask. residents poured into the Elgar Peterson Arena to remember and honour the 15 people killed in a vehicle crash between the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi-truck.

“We are all Humboldt Broncos,” team president Kevin Garinger said in the opening remarks.

It was a sentiment that was reiterated by Dr. Lawrence Joseph, who offered condolences and a prayer on behalf of all Indigenous people in Canada and the world.

FULL COVERAGE: Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Over 3,000 people attended the event; the arena was packed and two overflow areas were needed. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there, along with Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry.

LISTEN BELOW: Global News’ Brittany Greenslade speaks with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about the latest developments after the crash and the vigil in Humboldt

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Nick Shumlanski, was also in attendance wearing his white team jersey with a cut underneath his left eye, a playoff beard and blonde hair. He was released from hospital earlier Sunday.

Matthieu Gomercic, another player who was on the bus and has been released from hospital, was also in attendence.

Humboldt Broncos’ Nick Shumlanski, who was released from hospital earlier today, is comforted by a mourner during 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

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The crash took place as the team was heading to a semi-final game against the Nipawin Hawks. Another game of the series was scheduled for Sunday night – and at the time the game was scheduled to start, a moment of silence was held throughout the building.

WATCH: Touching moments from Sunday’s vigil


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The victims include Broncos captain Logan Schatz along with nine other players, coaches Darcy Haugun and Mark Cross, the team’s statistician, radio play-by-play announcer and the driver of the bus.

The names of the victims of the crash, along with those still recovering, were read out by Garinger, who wasn’t able to hold back tears.

READ MORE: Here are the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Throughout the service, members of the local clergy spoke about the past few days of mourning.

“I heard sounds I never want to hear again,” Pastor Sean Brandow said.

He said he sat behind the bench during every game and enjoyed looking at the names on their jerseys.

“Each name [on each jersey] means family.”

WATCH: Humboldt Broncos vigil: Soulful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ performed by Araba Quaye

Earlier in the day Garinger confirmed one injured player has been released from hospital and said they are working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority to provide further updates on injured players and staff.

“We know that the way we’re going to get through this is by leaning on each other,” Garinger said.

“This isn’t about Humboldt, it’s not even about Saskatchewan; it’s about Canada and our world.”

“People care.”

He said the vigil will be an important step in the healing process, and hundreds of people from the community are expected to attend.

Garinger also said the current season won’t be continuing but they are “looking towards” next season because they’re currently focused on the players and families.

WATCH: Humboldt Broncos looking to next season, current season over after fatal bus crash

WATCH: One Humboldt Broncos athlete released from hospital, president says

Members of the Humboldt community continue to bring flowers and tributes to the arena. A crisis and counselling centre is set up in the adjacent convention centre in town.

The cause of the crash, which happened near Tisdale, is still under investigation by RCMP.

WATCH: RCMP lay cross at intersection of Humboldt Broncos fatal bus crash

The tragic incident has touched many across the country, and across the broader hockey community. NHL teams paid tribute to the Broncos during their games Saturday night.

*With a file from the Canadian Press

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