3 international students die in head-on crash north of Winnipeg

The University of Manitoba students, all young men from Bangladesh, were killed in a collision early Thursday morning just south of the Interlake community of Arborg, RCMP say.

Woman in other car was seriously hurt and sent to hospital in Winnipeg

A head-on crash between two vehicles in Manitoba's Interlake region took the lives of three young men who were international students from Bangladesh. (David Bell/CBC)

Three international students at the University of Manitoba died Thursday morning after a head-on crash north of Winnipeg, the Manitoba  Islamic Association says.

"It's very devastating to the community," said Tasneem Vali, the association's vice-chair.

The students, all young men, were from Bangladesh, she said.

A northbound car and a southbound car collided just before 6:30 a.m. on Highway 7, about 10 kilometres south of the Interlake community of Arborg, RCMP said.

The southbound vehicle had the three students in it. All were pronounced dead at the scene, RCMP said.

Police said two of the men were 23. They did not have an age for the third man.

A 53-year-old woman from the rural municipality of Armstrong was in the northbound car. She received serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital in Winnipeg.

As the province's largest Muslim organization, the Manitoba Islamic Association is handling the funeral arrangements, along with offering grief counselling and other supports to anyone who needs that help, Vali said.

The families of all three students are overseas. The Islamic association and local Bangladeshi associations are reaching out to them, she said.

Vali said her association will also offer counselling online for any family members, adding there are many arrangements to be made regarding the bodies and the funerals.

"Right now, really, everybody's just digesting all of this," she said.

Alcohol is not considered a factor in the collision, which remains under investigation, RCMP said. A section of the highway remained closed for several hours and was reopened around 10:30 a.m.

Arborg is about 115 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

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Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories. He is the author of award-nominated and bestselling The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent.