Flowers lie at centre ice as people gather for 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 April 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

Arena ring of tribute to Saskatchewan hockey team to be removed as summer nears

What became a symbol of grief following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash earlier this month is about to melt into memory.

The painted ring around centre ice at Humboldt’s Elgar Petersen Arena — the junior hockey team’s home — became a memorial lined with flowers and other tributes soon after the April 6 crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

RELATED: Humboldt Broncos GoFundMe stops at $15 million

The City of Humboldt now says on its Facebook page that starting Friday, work will begin to remove the ice for the season, although people still have until 9:00 p.m. today to drop in and pay their respects.

It says flowers, banners, flags and posters that have flowed in from around the world to show support for the team will be put on display on the arena glass.

No events or ceremonies are planned in advance of the ice removal, but people are welcome to visit the building during regular hours over the next few days.

Plans are also in the offing for a permanent memorial.

RELATED: A look at the victims of the Humboldt team bus crash

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., when a collision between the team’s bus and a tractor-trailer unit occurred.

The crash is still being investigated. RCMP have only said the truck was in the intersection when the accident happened.

Five players remained in hospital in Saskatoon on Wednesday, while eight others have been released or transferred to other care centres. (CKOM, The Canadian Press)

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