Moscow crash not first to claim sportspersons

Sep 08, 2011, 07:09 IST | AFP

Yesterday's Moscow crash that claimed five ice hockey stars wasn't the first instance of sportspersons succumbing to aviation tragedies. MiD DAY recalls some of them

Yesterday's Moscow crash that claimed five ice hockey stars wasn't the first instance of sportspersons succumbing to aviation tragedies. MiD DAY recalls some of them

Five foreign hockey players including former Swedish Olympic champion Stefan Liv were among 44 people killed yesterday when a plane carrying members of a Russian team crashed on takeoff, officials said.

Disaster: A TV grab shows rescuers inspecting remains of a plane at
the crash site outside Yaroslavl airport yesterday some 300 kilometres
(185 miles) northeast of Moscow . At least 44 people were killed when
a Russian jet carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's ice hockey players to their
 first match of the Kontinental Hockey League season crashed on take-off.

The Russian charter flight claimed the lives of Slovakia's Pavol Demitra and the Czech Republic's Josef Vasicek, Jan Marek and Karel Rachunek, Interfax reported. The Swedish embassy had earlier confirmed the death of Liv.
"We got the confirmation a couple of minutes ago from the emergencies ministry. He is among the people who died in the crash," Swedish embassy spokesman Bengt Eriksson told AFP.

The local emergencies ministry said the Yak-42 jet crashed as it took off from Yaroslavl airport some 300 kilometres (185 miles) northeast of Moscow. It was taking members of Russia's three-time champions 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 who was also feared dead. Only one person was confirmed to have survived the disaster. A Canadian embassy spokesman said that information about McCrimmon could only be released by the department of foreign affairs in Ottawa.

Some other instances...
Oct 18, 1925: Marvin Goodwin, Cincinnati Reds pitcher died in Houston, Texas, after crash-landing his airplane in a Army Air Force Reserve training exercise.

May 4, 1949: A plane carrying the Torino soccer team crashed into a hill near Turin, killing all 31 aboard, including 18 players. The team had won won four straight Italian League titles.

Feb 6, 1958: Eight players were among the 21 people who died when the Manchester United team plane crashed on take off in icy conditions in Munich. The team continued its season and reached the 1958 FA Cup final.

Aug 31, 1961: Former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano (right) died in Newton, Iowa when his plane

crashed en route to a birthday party the day before his 46th birthday. Nov 14, 1970: The entire Marshall University football team, including 37 players and 48 others, died whem their plane crashed in Huntington, W.Va.

July 13, 1993: NASCAR driver Davey Allison was killed after a helicopter he was piloting crashed on the infield at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

June 1, 2002: Former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje's (right)   scheduled flight home from Johannesburg to George was grounded so he hitched a ride as the only passenger aboard a Hawker Siddeley HS 748 turboprop aircraft. Near George airport, the pilots lost visibility in clouds and were unable to land, partly due to unusable navigational equipment. While circling, the plane crashed into the Outeniqua mountains. Cronje, aged 32, and the two pilots were killed instantly.

Russian hockey club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
w The club was founded in 1949 as Lokomotiv Yaroslavl but was renamed six times before reverting back to their original name in 2000.

w The club is nicknamed The Railwaymen as they are owned by Russian Railways.

wThe club have won the Russian Championship on three occasions, the first in 1997 � as Torpedo Yaroslavl � before they won back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003.

wThe club play in the Tarasov division of the Kontinental Hockey League's Western Conference.

wLokomotiv play in a red, white and blue kit, the same colour as the Russian flag.

wDespite topping the Western Conference last season Lokomotiv were beaten in their Conference Play-off final by Atlant Moscow Oblast.
wBoth the 2002 and 2003 title successes came under Czech head coach Vladimir Vujtek.

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