Kontinental tragedy

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Plane crash kills nearly entire KHL team

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

Sept. 7, 2011 will forever be known as a day that changed the hockey world forever.

Members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, a team in the Kontinental Hockey League, boarded a plane early Thursday morning for what was said to be a routine flight. The team was scheduled to travel to Minsk, Belarus, in order to take on the Dinamo Minsk to open its regular season later that day. The team would never make it to the game.

The plane carrying the team had trouble gaining altitude until it eventually crashed into the side of a riverbank, bursting into flames on impact.

There were 45 people on the plane, including 37 passengers and eight crew members. Out of the 27 members of the hockey team, only one lived through the accident as the rest of his teammates perished in the crash. First-year team head coach Brad McCrimmon, a native of Plenty, SK, was killed on the flight.

In total, 43 people were killed in the crash, with the only two survivors who are still currently listed as being in critical condition.

“This is the darkest day in the history of our sport,” said Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, in a press release.

In light of the recent events, the KHL has postponed the start of its season until a later date, leaving time for fans, friends and family members of the victims to grieve after this unimaginable event.

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