Russian Plane Carrying Hockey Team Crashes, 43 Killed

At least 43 people have reportedly died when a Russian passenger aircraft carrying a professional hockey team crashed Wednesday shortly after taking off from Tunoshna Airport in the city of Yaroslavi Oblast.

Reports said the Yak-42 plane, which was previously owned by Tatarstan Airline and now operated by Yak Service, was carrying the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavi team, which was due to face a Belarusian squad, Dinamo Minsk, the next day. The aircraft had just left the airport for Minsk when it reportedly caught fire and crashed on the Volga River.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the plane was carrying 35 passengers and eight crewmembers. The ministry said two people survived the crash, a player, Alexander Galimov, and a still unnamed crew.

The Lokomotiv team is one of the top squads in the Kontinental Hockey League, considered the most competitive of all the leagues in Europe. The team included members from the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Slovakia.