At least 15 people have died after a bus carrying elderly people to a casino crashed into a truck in the Canadian province of Manitoba.
Police said the collision happened on the Trans-Canada Highway near Carberry, two hours west of Winnipeg.
At least 10 people, including the two drivers, have been taken to hospital.
Witness John Proven said he saw a burning vehicle in a ditch just after noon local time on Thursday. “I have never seen an accident that big.”
Mr Proven said he also saw a semi-trailer lorry nearby with a burned front end.
In several tweets, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Manitoba said it was responding to a serious “mass casualty” collision and that all of its resources, including its major crime unit, had been deployed to the scene.
Emergency vehicles, including an air ambulance and 12 ambulances, were dispatched to the scene at 11:43 local time on Thursday (17:35 BST), the RCMP said at a press conference.
Most of the elderly people aboard were from Dauphin, Manitoba, and the surrounding areas. They were traveling to the Sand Hills Casino in the town of Carberry, which confirmed that the bus had been expected to arrive later in the day.
Those in hospital have “significant” injuries due to the force of the crash, officials said.
William Doherty, the CEO of Day & Ross trucking company – which was involved in the crash – told CTV News that “the thoughts of the entire Day & Ross team are with those who have lost loved ones in this terrible incident”.
“We are holding out hope that those injured will recover,” Mr Doherty added. “We will fully cooperate with the investigation and offer any assistance and support that we can.”
Among those who have so far offered their condolences is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I’m keeping the injured in my thoughts,” he said in a statement on Twitter. “I cannot imagine the pain those affected are feeling – but Canadians are here for you.”
A spokesperson with the local air ambulance service told CBC News that the agency had deployed one of its largest responses ever to the crash.

BBC/Adebukola Aluko
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