A passenger plane carrying 37 members of the Russian Lokomotiv ice hockey team and 8 crew members crashed briefly after takeoff earlier today, killing 43 of the people on board. Former NHL forward Pavol Demitra was among the team’s entire main roster reported as casualties of the crash. Four members of the Lokomotiv youth team were also on board.
The Los Angeles Times offers more details:
The plane, which was carrying members of the Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv, crashed on the banks of the Volga River shortly after departing from an airport in Yaroslav, located 150 miles northeast of Moscow. The team was flying to Belarus to play in its season opener against Dinamo Minsk.
Russian officials say a crew member and Russian player Alexander Galimov are the only survivors. Both are in critical condition.
A Czech Embassy official told the Associated Press that former NHL players Josef Vasicek and Karel Rachunek were among those killed. Latvian officials onfirmed the death of former NHL defenseman Karlis Skrastins.
Locomotiv Coach Brad McCrimmon, a former NHL defenseman who worked as assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, also died in the crash.
Officials did not immediately release the names of all of the players and coaches who were on board, but former Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei was among the players listed on the Lokomotiv roster.
Detroit Red Wings prospect Stefan Liv was also listed on the roster.
I don’t really have much beyond, “Holy crap.”