Bus carrying crew for Shania Twain concert crashes on icy highway in Saskatchewan

Members of Shania Twain’s concert production crew were on a bus that crashed Wednesday morning on an icy highway in southeast Saskatchewan.

The music star’s management company, Maverick, said in a statement that the bus and a truck from her “Queen of Me” tour were in the crash on the Trans-Canada Highway near Wolseley.

Twain was not on the bus.

The crew members were heading from Winnipeg, where Twain had a show Tuesday night, to Saskatoon, where she was scheduled to perform Thursday.

“We ask for patience as we look after our touring family,” the statement said.

Dwayne Stone, the fire chief for the town of Grenfell, said they were called out to the crash just after 7 a.m. Roads were extremely slippery after the area had been doused by rain then covered in snow.

Stone said firefighters found the bus on its side.

“It looks like they lost control, went into the ditch sideways and then the wheels caught the ground and it rolled,” he said.

The double-decker bus was set up so passengers could sleep on the top level, Stone said. Firefighters used an emergency hatch in the roof and took out windows in order to get to the 13 people stuck inside.

“When it rolled, all the debris trapped people in,” he said. “Basically we just had to go in, gently remove items, so we can free people.”

Stone said the people were taken to a nearby hospital, but he didn’t believe any of their injuries were life-threatening.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said later Wednesday that two people were transferred to a hospital in Regina and the others were discharged.

Stone said the bus had a Tennessee licence plate and was operated by a tour company with headquarters in Florida called Beat The Street. The company, which provides buses for bands and crews that are on tour, confirmed its vehicle was involved.

“I am devastated to have to tell you that a Beat The Street USA bus experienced black ice on the roadway causing an accident,” Joerg Philipp, the company’s owner, said in a post on social media.

Firefighters also retrieved luggage from the bus to get the passengers’ passports, Stone added.

When the bus tipped, Stone said he figures many passengers had been sleeping, because they “just had their socks on and no coats,” he said. “We had to give them blankets to keep warm.”

Mounties closed the highway from Wolseley, 100 kilometres east of Regina, to the Manitoba boundary due to icy conditions for several hours.

Stone said firefighters also responded to two jackknifed semi-trailers on the highway the same morning.

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