Thirty-five victims of Russian hockey team plane crash identified

Thirty-five out of the forty-three bodies of Yaroslavl plane crash victims have been identified, the Sovietsky Sport newspaper has reported on its website, quoting Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin.

A Yak-42 aircraft carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice-hockey team crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in the Russian city of Yaroslavl on Wednesday. Only two people survived the crash – Russian national side player Alexander Galimov and crew-member Alexander Sizov. Both are in a critical condition.

The Lokomotiv roster included players and coaches from 10 countries, including the team’s Canadian coach, Brad McCrimmon, who was among those killed in the crash.

Three Czech players were also among the victims, the spokesman for the Czech embassy in Moscow has confirmed. Czech national daily Mlada Fronta Dnes quoted him on Friday as saying that the body of Karel Rachunek, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s captain, was identified with 100 percent certainty, while the bodies of forwards Jan Marek and Josef Vasicek were indentified with 90 percent certainty.

The Russian side took over responsibility for the delivery of the bodies to the Czech Republic, the spokesman added.

Yaroslavl began three days of mourning on Friday for the victims of the crash. International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel has called the crash “the darkest day in the history of our sport.”

Doctors continue struggling to save the lives of the two survivors, who were flown to Moscow for treatment on Thursday.

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