Probably the worst news to wake up to, a plane crash killing an entire hockey team. This off-season just seems to drag on with all of the player death's this summer.
Around 9:30 this morning, multiple news outlets report that a passenger plane carrying a KHL hockey team has crashed. The team was en route to Minsk, Belarus for the first game of their regular season. As of 10:19 AM, the death toll has risen to 43.
Amongst the Russian team was former NHL'ers: Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Pavol Demitra, and Ruslan Salei. Also included was former Ranger, Alexander Karpovtsev, who was apart of the 1994 Stanley Cup team. Reports surfaced that forward Alexander Galimov was amongst the two that survived the crash, but later reports said that Galimov succumbed to his injuries.
Here is the official statement from the KHL:
KHL Statement on Tragedy in Yaroslavl
On Wednesday, September 7th, the sport of hockey witnessed a devastating loss. A YK-42 plane that was carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team to its first game of the 2011/2012 Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) season in Minsk, crashed while departing from Yaroslavl.
KHL statement regarding today’s tragedy in Yaroslavl:
"We are only beginning to understand the impact of this tragedy affecting the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl club and the international hockey community. First and foremost, our condolences go out to the families and friends of the players, coaches and staff lost in today’s tragedy.
"We know that there are many in the KHL family who will be grieving with us. As the investigation of this tragedy progresses we will work closely with investigators, government officials, club executives and the Yaroslavl community. We are working to find an appropriate way to honor this club and begin the healing process from the deep loss so many of us feel today.
"We are aware that many of you have questions. This tragedy remains our primary focus. We ask for patience as we find an appropriate way to proceed with the 2011/2012 season. We will continue to communicate our plans as they take shape."
This is absolutely terrible news coming out of Russia today. The hockey world has lost some more family members.
Rangers beat writer Jesse Spector caught up with Artem Anisimov about the tragedy, he stats "it really hit home." Follow after the jump for more on this terrible incident.
Rangers forward Artem Anisimov and Mike Rupp were absolutely devastated by the incident and here is what they had to say:
"I know these people, half the team," Anisimov said. "Young guys, we’ve grown up together, you know? In Russia, they have school – it’s one organization, Yaroslavl. You go to the hockey school growing up, play with the second team and then you grow up and play with the first team, so a bunch of young guys I know, and the medical staff, all the staff, I know too. So sad."
"I feel like – it can’t happen. I don’t want to believe it. The news says plane crash, and I feel sick. I feel bad. Sitting in traffic coming here, I felt terrible."
"It’s one of those things that, we’re playing a sport, but anytime there’s a life lost, that’s something way bigger than anything we’re doing on the field or ice," said Mike Rupp, who played with Rachunek for the Devils and called him a "quiet guy with a good sense of humor. It’s terrible, the hockey world’s had these tragic losses all summer, and it twists up your stomach. There’s not much more to say than that. Everyone I’ve talked to today just has that sick feeling, and that’s all I’m feeling right now."
Below is the passenger list of all individuals on the flight:
- Anikeenko Vitaly
- Bakhvalov Yuri
- Alexander Belyaev
- Mikhail Balandin
- Vasyukov Alexander
- Vašíček Joseph
- Vyuhin Alexander E.
- Robert Dietrich Genrikhovich
- Pavol Demitra
- Zimin Andrey
- Kalimulin Marat Natfullovich
- Karpovtsev Alexander G.
- Kalyanin Alexander I.
- Kiryukhin Andrey
- Klyukin Nikita
- Korolev, Igor B.
- Krivonosov Nikolai
- Kunnov Evgeny
- Vyacheslav Kuznetsov
- Stefan Liv, Daniel Patrick
- Jan Marek
- Brad McCrimmon Byron
- Ostapchuk Sergey I.
- Piskunov, Vladimir Leonidovich
- Karel Rachunek
- Evgeny Sidorov
- Karlis Skrastins Martinovic
- Snurnitsyn Pavel
- Daniel E. Sobchenko
- Tkachenko Ivan Leonidovich
- Paul S.
- Yuri O. Urych
- Gennady Churilov S.
- Maxim A. Shuvalov
- Yarchuk Artem Nikolaevich
- Solomentsev Andrey, Commander
- Zhivelov Igor Konstantinovich, second pilot
- Zhuravlev, Sergey, bortmehanih
- Sarmatova Elena, flight attendant
- Maksumova Hope Murzafarovna, flight attendant
- Chavigny Elena, flight attendant
- Matyushin Vladimir Yurevich, flight engineer
- Sizov, Alexander B., flight attendant