Players of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team, killed in a plane crash last month, were remembered in the team’s home city of Yaroslavl on Sunday, the 40th day since the tragedy.
Memorial events started with a service held in the city’s Assumption Cathedral by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Yaroslavl and Rostov.
According to the Orthodox beliefs, special prayers for deceased are held on the ninth, and 40th days after death; the third, sixth and ninth months, and annually thereafter.
On 13:00 Moscow time (9:00 GMT) a charity requiem concert will be held in the team’s home arena.
Lokomotiv’s chartered Yak-42 crashed just after takeoff on September 7 as the team was heading to Minsk for their season opener against Dinamo Minsk. Forty-three people were killed including a slew of former NHL stars and future draft prospects. The only surviving team member – Alexander Galimov – died in hospital five days later.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, founded in 1949 as the team of the Railways Ministry, is one of Russia’s leading hockey teams and came runner up in the nascent KHL in 2008 and 2009. In 1997 it took the Russian Superleague title and won back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003. It was one of the favorites for current KHL season.