Hockey Plane Crash
September 8, 2011 by staff
Hockey Plane Crash, A day after a plane crash outside the Russian city of Yaroslavl players killed dozens of Russian and international hockey, hundreds of residents and supporters gathered Thursday at the arena where the hockey club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl played to commemorate the lost.
Russian television showed the mountains of flowers, scarves, flags and other items with logos of the team that stood in front of the stadium in Yaroslavl, a city 155 miles northeast of Moscow. Candles have been lit and many people were crying.
Churches of the city have conducted the funeral services, with many local fans that attended dressed in jerseys Lokomotiv.
Fans have a sign outside the stadium to recovery seeking a team leader, Alexander Galimov later, one of the two survivors of the accident. “Sasha, keep fighting, the country is with you,” says the poster, with the usual short-Russian form of Alexander.
Galimov is in intensive care at a local hospital, which suffered burns over 80% of their skin, doctors said. The other surviving crewmember is Alexander Sizov. Both are in critical condition, according to health officials.
The Yak-42 airliner carrying 45 people, including eight crew, crashed shortly after takeoff out of Yaroslavl on Wednesday afternoon. Bound for Minsk, Belarus, where the team was to play on Thursday.
Many people in Yaroslavl Lokomotiv’s roster had ties with the U.S. National Hockey League (NHL), Pavol Demitra, including a former Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks center of Slovakia, and Josef Vasicek of the Czech Republic, who had played with the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. Another player Lokomtoiv, Ruslan Salei of Belarus, had skated for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and the Red Wings.
The head coach of Lokomotiv, Brad McCrimmon, was also a veteran of the NHL, NHL, said on its website.
Yaroslavl Sergei Vakhrukov governor has declared three days of mourning in the region, from September 9-11, for the dead, his website said.
Regional authorities have also decided to pay 300,000 rubles (and 10,200) to each family who lost relatives in the incident. The City of Yaroslavl, meanwhile, will pay 150,000 rubles (and 5,100) to each family, and the airline will also pay two million rubles (about 67,800 y) to each family, said Vakhrukov a press conference Thursday in Yaroslavl.
The Emergency Situations Ministry of Russia reported that 43 bodies have already been found at the scene, and divers have recovered the two flight data recorders.
“Researchers are studying all the possible theories behind what happened. However, theories are the most likely technical failure or pilot error,” the Investigative Committee of Russia on its website. More than 50 researchers, criminologists and forensic experts are currently working on the scene, the committee said.
President Dmitry Medvedev visited the scene and laid flowers on Thursday. “This was a shock for the whole country,” he said.
“There is a special aspect to this: the plane was carrying the alignment of a beloved team, not only in Yaroslavl, but throughout Russia and was one of the most successful clubs in this country.
“This is a great loss not only to all your family and loved ones but also to all the fans and the entire state.”
The government will take tough measures to improve the country’s fleet increase safety standards and drastically reduce the number of airlines, he said.
Passenger safety, not the interests of the Russian aircraft industry should be top priority in adopting these measures, he said, speaking at the crisis center in Yaroslavl set up following the accident.
Medvedev then continued as planned for the third forum of political Yaroslavl, a high profile annual international event that takes place in the city.
The Russian president, a political opening speech to representatives from 32 countries gathered there, he began his speech after a moment of silence was held to honor the dead.
The Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) will now start its regular season play on Monday, after the celebrations in Yaroslavl on Saturday, the league announced on its website.
Chairman of the League of Directors and the country of hockey legend Vyasheslav Fetisov said on national television that many players from other hockey teams had said they want to support the club and volunteer to play for the team Yaroslav. “We will work on a mechanism of transfer in the near future,” Fetisov said.
And Alexander Medvedev, president of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League, said in a radio interview “all KHL clubs, without exception, the league called and said they are willing to send their best players to Yaroslavl.”
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