Two survivors of Russia ice hockey air crash taken to Moscow

An emergencies ministry plane carrying the two survivors of the September 7 plane crash outside Yaroslavl that killed virtually the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl professional hockey team has arrived in Moscow, a spokesman for the ministry said on Thursday.

Forty-three people – including all but one of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s players and coaches – were killed after the medium-range Yak-42 aircraft came down shortly after taking off from Yaroslavl’s Tunoshna airport.

The two survivors, Russian player Alexander Galimov and member of the crew Alexander Sizov, are in critical condition. Galimov has burns to 90 percent of his body, a hospital official said.

A memorial ceremony for those killed in the crash will be held in Yaroslavl’s sports palace on September 10, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl president Yuri Yakovlev said.

The flight data recorder of the ill-fated jet was found on Thursday, emergencies ministry official reported from the scene of the tragedy. It will be handed over to the Russian-led Interstate Aviation Committee (MAC).

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 Kontinental Hockey League 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 this year’s Kontinental Hockey League.

The Lokomotiv roster included players and coaches from 10 countries, including the team’s Canadian coach, Brad McCrimmon, Swedish goalie Stefan Liv and Czech defenseman Karel Rachunek.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is in Yaroslavl for a political forum, expressed his “deepest condolences to the loved ones of the Yaroslavl air crash victims, and to all Lokomotiv Yaroslavl fans”.

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