NEWS
02/10/2012 05:13 EST | Updated 04/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Ontario Van Crash Relatives To Have Flights Covered

CP

The victims, survivors and first responders who were involved in the collision that killed 11 people in Hampstead, Ont., earlier this week were shown support at a prayer service in a Stratford, Ont. church.

More than 300 people attended the non-denominational service Friday evening organized by the diocese of London, CBC's Steven D'Souza reported. The altar at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was adorned with the names of the victims and survivors.

Ten migrant workers from Peru were killed and three were seriously injured when their 15-passenger van and a truck collided in a rural area near Stratford. The truck's driver, a Canadian, was also killed.

Bishop Ronald Fabbro told the crowd that the service was not for asking questions about the accident but instead about supporting those who are suffering.

Fabbro said he has been profoundly impressed with this community and the "visible signs of love" they've shown since the tragedy.

God does not ignore the tears of those who mourn the loss of a loved one, he said.

A collection was taken during the service, with proceeds going to the families of the victims.

The donations will add to what has already been an outpouring of generosity, with the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, along with the Agriculture Workers Alliance, raising $30,000 so far.

Also, a government agency will cover travel costs for one family member of each of the 13 migrant workers involved in the crash.

The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board said it was looking at each individual case to determine whether the children of the victims can also be flown to the province. The board declined a full interview, saying it wanted the focus to be on the families. It will pay for one family member of each Peruvian victim or survivor to fly to Ontario.

The WSIB had already said it would pay for the repatriation of the bodies, medical costs of the survivors and an undisclosed amount for lost wages and benefits.

WSIB spokeswoman Maura Murphy said she didn't know what the final cost would be.

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