Only one of the 10 pipeline workers injured when a bus collided with a semi-truck at a rural Saskatchewan intersection on Friday afternoon remains in hospital, a spokesman for the company that employs the workers said Saturday.
Paul Stuckless, corporate safety manager for O.J. Pipelines, said the workers were travelling to Kindersley, Sask., from a worksite when their bus was struck by a grain truck in Kerrobert on Friday afternoon.
He said 16 workers in the pipe welding crew — including the driver — were on board at the time.
Stuckless said the truck struck the side of the bus, sending it spinning into a ditch.
“It was a pretty busy night but we’re looking after everybody,” Stuckless said, noting he did not know the extent of the injuries of the person who remained in hospital.
RCMP said the semi was hauling two trailers of canola, and that the bus was a “converted school bus.”
Police said three people were taken to a hospital in Saskatoon by helicopter, and seven others were taken to local hospitals. Four were treated at the scene.
RCMP did not release the nature or extent of the injuries, but said in a news release Saturday that none of the injuries were considered life-threatening. They also noted that neither the driver of the truck — which was hauling canola — nor the woman who was driving the bus was hurt.
Chris Bunz said he was driving by and saw the semi-truck in the middle of the intersection and a white bus lying on its side in the shoulder, dented but with windows intact.
“(The semi) looked like it had probably just a little front end damage, and the bus had a little bit of rippling in the side, so I don’t think it was too, too big a collision, but enough to put the bus over,” he said in a phone interview.
Bunz, a resident of nearby Unity, Sask., said the presence of industrial activity, heavy traffic and speeding drivers make the intersection where the crash occurred a particularly dangerous one.
“There’s a lot of equipment parked at the corner they have a stockpile of dirt and a bunch of equipment too, so it’s kind of distracting, because you have that right in that corner and lots of traffic too,” he said.
Stuckless said four of O.J. Pipelines’ own emergency staff went to the scene and assisted local first responders.
RCMP said they’re still investigating the crash, but said they don’t believe at this point that alcohol was a factor.
The crash comes just days after the Humboldt Broncos played their first game since the April collision involving the hockey team’s bus and a transport truck at a rural Saskatchewan highway intersection.
Sixteen people, including 10 players, were killed and 13 players were injured in that crash.
The driver of that truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily injury.
Sidhu, who was not hurt in the crash, was released on $1,000 bail in July under conditions he not drive and that he surrender his passport.