The two survivors of the plane crash that virtually wiped out the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team remain in critical conditions, a Health Ministry official said on Friday.
Russian national side player Alexander Galimov and crew-member Alexander Sizov survived Wednesday’s crash, which killed 43 people. The plane fell to earth shortly after take-off from an airport near Yaroslavl, some 250km north of Moscow.
“There has been no change in Galimov and Sizov’s conditions,” the official said. “They remain in an extremely grave condition.”
Police eyewitnesses said Galimov walked away from the wreckage of the crash, despite suffering burns to 90% of his body.
Media reports said on Friday that Galimov had spoken to his father and other family members after being brought to hospital.
Russian aviation officials have yet to determine the cause of the accident. They say the investigation into the crash of the Yak-42 plane could last a week. On Friday they said the plane’s motors were in working order before the crash.
Reports suggest low-quality fuel may have caused the accident, and Yaroslavl airport has been banned from using its own supplies until the investigation is complete, an airport official said on Friday.
The bodies of 39 of the victims have been identified. DNA tests will be used to establish the identities of the four remaining bodies, investigators said.
The Lokomotiv roster included players and coaches from 10 countries, including the team’s Canadian coach, Brad McCrimmon, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv and Czech striker Karel Rachunek.
International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel called the crash “the darkest day in the history of oursport.”