‘Worst nightmare’: Canada bus crash kills 16 on junior hockey team

The collision happened in a remote part of Saskatchewan

Lesson #
April 19, 2018

Canada is mourning the loss of 16 people in a tragic bus crash that killed junior hockey players, coaches, and staff on their way to a playoff game. Ten of those killed were players between the ages of 16 and 21. Across Canada, people paid tribute by placing hockey sticks outside their homes and businesses. In the second half of the show, we discuss the English phrase "come to grips."


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Transcript

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Canada is in shock and mourning after a bus carrying a junior hockey team crashed, killing 16 people.

Welcome to Plain English, a podcast for English language learners. I’m Jeff, and this is episode 39 for Thursday, April 19th, 2018. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the tragic bus crash in the western Canadian province of Saskatoon. The bus was carrying a junior hockey team and killed 10 players plus coaches and assistants. The town is still coming to grips with the tragedy—and in the second half of today’s the program, we’ll talk about what “come to grips” means.

Before we get started, remember that you can read the text of the episode as you listen. A free transcript is available online at PlainEnglish.com/38. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, French or Chinese, you can see instant translations of difficult words and phrases from English into your language.

Now let’s get started with today’s topic.


Bus crash kills 16 on junior hockey team

Canada is mourning the loss of 16 people associated with a junior hockey team after a tragic bus crash.

The collision happened at about 5 p.m. on Friday, April 6, in a remote part of the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team and was on its way to a playoff game in another city when it crashed with a tractor-trailer truck on Highway 35 near the town of Tisdale, about 150 miles north of the capital Saskatoon. Truckers in the area say that intersection was especially hazardous, and some say they purposely avoid it because it’s so dangerous. About twenty years ago, a family of six was killed in an accident at the same intersection.

There were 29 people, including the driver, on the bus during the crash. Out of the 16 people who died were 10 players, two coaches, a statistician, the team radio broadcaster, an athletic trainer, and the bus driver. Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, said “the entire country is in shock and mourning” after the tragedy. The driver of the truck was not injured. Several other players and coaches survived but were taken to the hospital. There was a sad picture of some of the survivors. It showed three beds pushed together, the players comforting each other as they laid in their beds. One eighteen-year-old player was paralyzed and will never walk again. Still, he’s already making plans to get back on the ice as soon as possible and now has dreams of playing for the Canadian Paralympic team.

This tragedy has hit home for many Canadians. Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. Parents around the country said they knew the worry about sending their kids of long bus rides for hockey, band, or other school trips—and the possibility of a tragedy like this is always in the back of their minds. For parents of the Humboldt hockey team, it was their worst nightmare come true. Justin Trudeau captured these feelings when he said, “Our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town—small and big—across Canada.”

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is for players aged between about 16 to 21 years old. Players from around the country move to the rural, western Canadian province of Saskatchewan to play in this league. They stay with host families while they’re there. The league often feeds the National Hockey League, the professional league in Canada and the United States. Many professional players shared their memories of their junior hockey bus rides on social media.

Long bus rides are a rite of passage in youth sports, especially in sparsely-populated parts of Canada. Many players say they got to know their teammates and coaches and have more memories of time on the bus than of actually playing on the ice. The fact that the tragedy struck during a time that many people remember fondly makes it all the more heartbreaking.

The town of Humboldt, where the team is based, is especially close-knit. The mayor of the 6,000-person town said that it will take years for the community to come to grips with the tragedy. The Broncos’ home ice arena became a makeshift community center in Humboldt, where families and friends gathered to learn the latest about the tragedy. A vigil over the weekend drew thousands of people, including politicians, business people, NHL coaches, kids, parents—anyone who wanted to show support to the team in the close-knit community.

Canadians farther afield have also been offering support for the families affected by the tragedy. A fundraising page had collected $10 million Canadian dollars within the first week. Around Canada, people placed hockey sticks outside their homes and businesses to show their support. There was a dedicated day where people wore hockey jerseys to work.

The crash also brought back memories of another accident in 1986, when a bus crash killed four people on another junior hockey team.


If you’re interested in reading more about today’s topic, or about any topic I talk about on Plain English, then you’ll want to join our e-mail list. For every new episode, I send out links to the articles I used to prepare the program. So, if you want to do some more reading, you can follow the links in those emails. To sign up, just go to PlainEnglish.com/mail and enter your details.

Before we get to today’s phrase, I wanted to say hi to a listener—Selen from Germany. He’s studying English in high school but uses the podcast to practice outside of class. He said he loves English and is going to continue studying in college next year. Selen, you must be counting down the days until graduation—congratulations and thanks for being in the Plain English audience.

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How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

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Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

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Can I see a sample?

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The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

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How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

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The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

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The transcripts of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Turkish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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The transcript of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Polish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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