The wreckage of a Yak-42 is seen near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River, 240 kilometres northeast of Moscow.Image Courtesy Lifenews
MOSCOW— A Russian jet carrying a hockey team crashed Wednesday while taking off in western Russia, killing 43 people, officials said.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 crashed immediately after taking off from an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River, 240 kilometres northeast of Moscow. It said one person survived the crash with grave injuries.
The ministry said the plane was carrying the Lokomotiv hockey team from Yaroslavl.
The team was heading to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dynamo Minsk in the opening game of the season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL). The KHL is a league of several ex-Soviet countries.
According to Dmitry Chesnokov of the International Sports Press Association, a team official tells Sovetsky Sport “everyone from the main roster was on the plane and four players from the youth team.”
Lokomotiv forward Alexander Galimov survived the crash, his agent confirmed to Sovetsky Sport, Chesnokov reports.
Russia Today is reporting on its website KHL President Aleksandr Medvedev said that all players and staff of the team except one survivor died in the crash.
“We will do our best to keep the high-level hockey in Yaroslavl,” Medvedev reportedly said.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin immediately sent his transport minister to the site of the crash, 15 kilometres east of Yaroslavl.
The Lokomotiv team consists of several former NHL players including Josef Vasicek who played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders; Pavol Demitra who played for the Ottawa Senators from 1993-1996, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks from 2008 to last year.
As well as, Karel Rachunek who played for the Ottawa Senators from 2000 to 2004. He also played for the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
The team is coached by Canadian Brad McCrimmon.
It was not known whether they were on board the plane.
McCrimmon, 52, is a native of Saskatchewan. He played defence for six NHL teams — Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit, Hartford and Phoenix from 1979-80 to 1996-97.
He played 1,222 regular season games in the NHL, collecting 81 goals, 322 assists and 1,416 penalty minutes.
McCrimmon was an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Detroit Red Wings. He also served as head coach of the Western Hockey League's Saskatoon Blades.
Former Montreal Canadien Brent Sopel, who is now playing in Russia, tweeted shortly after the crash: “In shock. Prayers out to all of the KHL families.”
The short- and medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and dozens are still in service with Russian and other airlines.
In June, another Russian passenger jet crashed in the northwestern city of Petrozavodsk, killing 47 people. The crash of that Tu-134 plane has been blamed on pilot error.
The CHL is a league of several ex-Soviet countries.
Interfax cited a security official as saying the plane caught fire after the crash near the airport.
Some of Lokomotiv’s players (it is not known at this time who was on the plane):
• Brad McCrimmon – Coach
• Josef Vasicek — Played for Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, NY Islanders
• Pavol Demitra — Played for Ottawa Senators from 1993-1996. Also played for St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks from 2008-2010
• Karel Rachunek — Played for Ottawa Senators from 2000-2004. Also played for NY Rangers, NJ Devils
• Vitali Anikeyenko — Drafted by Ottawa Senators in 2005. Never played in NHL
• Alexander Vasyunov — Played for NJ Devils 2010-11
• Stefan Liv — Drafted by Detroit Red Wings in 2000, played in AHL in 2006-07
• Jan Marek — Drafted by NY Rangers in 2003, never played in NHL
• Daniil Sobchenko — Drafted by San Jose Sharks in 2011, never played in NHL
• Ivan Tkachenko — Drafted by Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002, never played in the NHL
• Daniel Tjarnqvist — Played for Colorado from 2008-2009
With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and the Associated Press
W katastrofie Jaka-42, który rozbił się koło Jarosławia, w Rosji, zginęły 44 osoby, a tylko jedna przeżyła - informuje agencja dpa, powołując się na najnowsze doniesienia rosyjskich mediów. Jedna osoba została ranna. Według relacji maszyna po starcie rozbiła się i zapaliła.
Początkowo podawano, że w katastrofie zginęło 36 osób, później radio Echo Moskwy informowało o 34 ofiarach śmiertelnych.
Do katastrofy doszło podczas startu samolotu.
Rozbity samolot znajduje się ok. 500 m od lotniska. Jest rozłamany na dwie części. Jego przód wpadł do Wołgi, a reszta znajduje się na lądzie.
Na pokładzie rosyjskiego samolotu było łącznie 37 osób. W tym trzech członków załogi, zawodnicy, trenerzy, lekarze i personel. Pierwsze informacje mówią o 36 ofiarach. Jedna osoba została ranna - informuje rosyjskie Ministerstwo ds. Sytuacji Nadzwyczajnych. Według rosyjskiej telewizji Russia Today dużą część załogi stanowili członkowie drużyny hokejowej Lokomotiw.
Jak-42 należał do linii lotniczych Yak-Service. Samolot miał dotrzeć do Kijowa, tam miał odbyć się mecz hokejowy z udziałem drużyn Lokomotiw i Dynamo.