YAROSLAVL, Russia – Latvian hockey player Karlis Skrastins is thought to have been onboard a flight that crashed en-route for Minsk, Belarus on Wednesday afternoon.
The airplane was flying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) team to Minsk for their opening game of the new season.
However, early reports claim that the plane at takeoff had, “insufficient lift and hit a beacon tower.” This according to Russian news website RT.com. The plane was effectively ripped in two with one half landing in water nearby.
RT.com goes on to claim that the plane was carrying 37 passengers and eight crew members. One crew member and one of the team's players, Aleksandr Galimov are believed to be the only survivors. Both are in hospital in a critical condition.
37-year-old Skrastins joined the Lokomotiv club this season after a long and celebrated career in the NHL, playing in 832 matches over 13 seasons.
More to follow...