The 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash occurred on September 7, 2011, at 16:02 local time, when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying the professional ice hockey team and coaching staff of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), crashed near Yaroslavl, Russia on its way to Minsk, Belarus, to start the 2011–12 KHL season.
The majority of the club’s roster were on board the aircraft, which caught fire and crashed shortly after take-off, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) from Tunoshna Airport. Preliminary reports say that 43 of the 45 passengers on board are confirmed dead.
Players on board were from Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden. Upon hearing the news, KHL officials stopped and postponed the Salavat Yulaev Ufa–Atlant Moscow Oblast game already in progress.
Russia was stunned by its worst-ever sporting tragedy today when a jet carrying a top hockey team crashed moments after takeoff in western Russia, killing at least 43 people and leaving two others critically injured.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed into a riverbank on the Volga River immediately after leaving the airport near the city of Yaroslavl, 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. It was sunny at the time.
Russian television showed footage of the flaming wreck in the river as divers worked to recover bodies in what ranks as one of the worst sporting plane crashes of all time.
The plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where the team was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season for the Kontinental Hockey League. The ministry said the plane had 45 people on board, including 37 passengers and eight crew.