Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DEVELOPING: KHL Yaroslavl Franchise In Plane Crash, 36 Reported Dead

A Yak-42 passenger jet carrying members of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed on takeoff with the majority of players from the roster on board. Numbers from 43 to 37 were reported on board- presumably including crew and officers. The lone survivor is said to have critical injuries.

A handful of former NHLers were on Yaroslavl's roster, including Ruslan Salei, Pavol Demitra, and head coach (and former Atlanta Thrashers assistant) Brad McCrimmon. No word on who and how many from the roster were on board the plane itself, but there is talk that the plane was packed with the entire roster... details below...

According to Puck Daddy, the franchise was heading to its KHL season opener in Belarus.

From Puck Daddy:

Lokomotiv official tells Sovetsky Sport 'everyone from the main roster was on the plane plus four players from the youth team.' Lokomotiv official said the entire team was on the plane because they were traveling for the 1st game of the season, a celebration.

More when we know more...

Here's Russian news coverage from Russia24 and youtube

"People were drawn to Demo. He was a great friend and great teammate," Matt Keator, Demitra's agent, told Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He was always the type to bring people together. This is just awful. He was such a popular guy with everyone he has ever played with."

Here's crash scene video, thanks to youtube again...

"We have no team anymore," Vladimir N. Malkov, the team spokesman, said in a telephone interview with The New York Times. "All our starting players, and all the service people, they all burned in the crash."

Coach Brad McCrimmon, forward Pavol Demitra, defenseman Ruslan Salei, forward Josef Vasicek, defenseman Karel Rachunek, forward Jan Marek, forward Alexander Vasyunov, defenseman Karlis Skrastins and goalie Stefan Liv are among the confirmed fatalities.

As of 1400 HRS, the only survivor in the crash is one of the crew...

No comments: