Russian plane crash - death toll up to 44

2011-09-07 20:03
Tunoshna - A Swedish Olympic champion was among 44 people killed on Wednesday when a Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team crashed on take-off near the site of an annual forum attended by President Dmitry Medvedev.

The 18-year-old Yak-42 passenger jet took off from Yaroslavl's city airport about 300km northeast of Moscow just as senior delegates settled into their seats for two days of talks about Russia's upcoming election battle.

The plane began listing to the left only seconds into the afternoon flight and crashed about 500m away from the Tunoshna airport.

Initial reports said the jet may have hit a local radar antenna and the twisted wreckage of the aircraft lay buried in the Tunoshna River as divers searched for signs of life.

"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," a police official told the RIA Novosti news agency.

The local emergencies ministry said the jet was taking members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey team to the Belarus capital Minsk for the their first match of the 2011-2012 season.

The team is trained by Canada's Brad McCrimmon - a former assistant coach with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings - and has several foreign players on the roster posted on its website.

Those confirmed dead include the team's goalie and former Swedish Olympic champion Stefan Liv, as well as the Slovak ex-NHL standout Pavol Demitra.

List of sports teams involved in fatal plane crashes:

May 4 1949 - Italian football club, Torino. The four-time league champions lost 22 members, including 18 players, in Turin, Italy.

February 6 1958 - English football champion Manchester United, eight members, in Munich.

August 14 1958 - Egyptian fencing team, six members, in the Atlantic Ocean.

February 16 1961 -  US figure skating team, 18 members, in Belgium.

April 3 1961 - Green Cross, a first-division Chilean soccer team, in the Las Lastimas Mountains.

September 26 1969 - Bolivian football team "The Strongest," 25 members, in the Andes.

November 14 1970 - Marshall University US college football team, 36 players, in Huntington, West Virginia.

October 11 1972 - Uruguayan rugby club, 30 members, in Chile.

December 13 1977 - University of Evansville men's basketball coach Bobby Watson and 14 players, in Evansville, Indiana.

March 14 1980 - US amateur boxing team, 14 members, in Warsaw, Poland.

December 8 1987 - Alianza Peruvian first-division football team, 17 players, in Lima, Peru.

April 28 1993 - Zambia's national football team, 18 players and five team officials, in Libreville, Gabon.
Read more on:    russia  |  air crashes
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