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09-07-2011, 11:01 AM
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A passenger plane carrying a Russian ice hockey team crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday, killing 43 of the 45 on board.

There are reports the entire hockey team was on board the plane, including Canadian-born coach Brad McCrimmon, and six other former NHLers.

Earlier reports from the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry were that 36 people had died, but the ministry later updated the death toll.

It said the plane was carrying 37 passengers and eight crew. All but two people were killed.

The ministry said the plane crashed soon after takeoff from an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, 240 kilometres northeast of Moscow. Reports say the plane immediately caught fire.

The Soviet-built Yak-42 jet was carrying the Lokomotiv hockey team from Yaroslavl. The team's roster includes former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, and Josef Vasicek. It has not been confirmed whether they were aboard the plane.

McCrimmon, 52, is a native of Saskatchewan. He played for six NHL teams in his career and was an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Detroit Red Wings.

MOSCOW - The start of Russia's ice hockey league has been delayed in the wake of Wednesday's plane crash which killed at least 44 people including members of the Lokomotiv team travelling to their first match of the season.

The tragedy happened when a Russian jet crashed on takeoff at an airport outside the central Russian city of Yaroslavl,

A police source told Interfax that the stricken plane suddenly started listing to the left and crashed about 500 metres away from the Tunoshna airport.

"According to the latest data, there were 45 people on board — 37 passengers and eight crew. Forty-four people died in the crash and one person survived," the official told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Brad McCrimmon, a native of Dodsland, Saskatchewan, was coaching Lokomotiv this season. After an 18-year NHL career, McCrimmon coached the Saskatoon Blades for two seasons - 1998-99 and 1999-2000 - helping the team improve from 16-49-7 in his first season to 34-27-8 in his second season at the helm. He has since served as an assistant coach in the NHL with Calgary, Atlanta and Detroit.

Last edited by MiamiScreamingEagles: 09-07-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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