An aeroplane carrying team members of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed when departing Yaroslavl and heading to Minsk where they were to open their season in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Onboard with the primarily Russian team were several foreign players, including Pavol Demitra (captain of the Slovak national team) and Czechs Jan Marek, Karel Rachúnek and Josef Vašíček, the Sme daily wrote on September 7.
The wife of Branko Radivojevič, a Slovak professional hockey player currently with Spartak Moscow, confirmed to the Slovak TA3 news channel that Demitra was onboard the plane.
The Russia Today web portal wrote that other casualties included German, Swedish, Ukrainian, Latvian and Belarusian players in addition to the Russian athletes. The Yaroslavl team, three-time Russian champion, was coached by Canadian Brad McCrimmon. The portal reported that except for one unnamed survivor, all members of the Yaroslavl team and staff had died in the crash.
It was reported that the plane had immediate problems after takeoff, touched its wing to the control tower and then crashed, with part of the fuselage falling into the Volga River. It is not clear what caused the accident, Sme wrote. The plane crashed at about 16:00 Moscow time.
Source: Sme, Russia Today portal
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Sep 2011 at 17:07