A Russian jet carrying a local hockey team crashed Wednesday while taking off in western Russia, killing 43 people and leaving two others critically injured, officials said. It was one of the worst crashes ever involving a sports team.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed in sunny weather immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 240 kilometres northeast of Moscow.
The former NHL players on the list include Pavol Demitra, Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek, assistant coach Igor Korolev, and head coach Brad McCrimmon.
Ruslan Salei was also on the team, but there are conflicting reports about whether or not he was actually on the plane. Attempts to reach him via cellphone have failed, but he wasn't on the initial list of passengers that was released.