Firefighters from station 227 in Toronto placed 15 hockey sticks with green ribbons outside the doors of their fire hall paying respect to the Humboldt Broncos on Tuesday April 10, 2018. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night, killing 15 and sending more than a dozen more to hospital. (John Hanley/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

#SticksOutForHumboldt campaign goes viral

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Thousands of Canadians have joined a viral campaign to express their sympathy and support to the families of the 15 victims of the fatal bus crash last Friday involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan.

Another fourteen people were injured, two of them critically, when the bus with 28 members of the team travelling to a tournament in neighbouring Nipawin collided with a semi-trailer at an intersection of two prairie highways near Teasdale, Sask., about 200 kilometres north of the provincial capital Regina.

Most of the victims were between the ages of 16 to 21 years old. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

The bus crash has touched a nerve in Canada and reverberated all across the country where hockey is the closest thing to organized national religion.

Ordinary Canadians, celebrities, politicians, and Canadian soldiers as far as northern Iraq are leaving their hockey sticks out on their porches and posting these haunting images on social media as part of the #SticksOutForHumboldt campaign to pay tribute to the young hockey players, coaches, volunteers and a local reporter who died in the tragic crash.

Canadians and international donors from more than 65 countries have also donated over $8.4 million dollars to a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the families of the crash victims, according to the fundraising platform. That makes one of the five top grossing campaigns in GoFundMe’s history.

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