Charges Filed 1-Year After Tragic Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Plane Crash

Nearly a year to the day after the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, charges have been filed against a Yak Airlines executive in connection with the tragedy.

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KHL Plane Crash Probe Cites Pilot Error

The Interstate Aviation Committee ruled that the September 7 plane crash that killed 44 people, including 36 players, coaches and staff of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League, was caused by pilot error, Vladimir Isachenkov of the Associated Press reports.

In addition to citing lax oversight and insufficient crew training, the investigation discovered that one of the two pilots of the Yak 42 plane accidentally activated the brakes and yanked the control to his chest, which pulled the plane up sharply during take off.

The investigation was led by Alexei Morozov, who found that the flight crew had medical issues that should have prohibited them from piloting the aircraft. Morozov also said the crew should have aborted the takeoff, but may have feared reprisals from management, with the AP noting that pilots risk the loss of bonuses when contributing to cost overruns.

"A properly trained pilot would have immediately aborted the takeoff when he saw the nose failing to lift," said Ruben Yesayan, a test pilot who assisted in the investigation. "The plane would simply have rolled past the runway and everyone would have been safe."


Alexander Galimov Dies From Burns Suffered In KHL Plane Crash

Alexander Galimov was one of just two survivors of Wednesday's tragic plane crash in Russia. He is no longer a survivor. After a courageous battle, Galimov succumbed to burns suffered in the crash, which had covered 90 percent of his body. He was 26 years old. 

Galimov was the lone surviving player of the initial crash, which including him claimed 44 people. The entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team perished in the crash. Galimov had been transported from Yaroslavl, the site of the crash, to a hospital in Moscow to receive special care in an attempt to save his life. 

The final survivor, flight engineer Alexander Sizov, also recovers in a different Moscow hospital this Monday. His injuries were not of the same severity as Galimov, and doctors have said that his life is no longer in danger. 

There are still no conclusions about the cause of the crash. The plane was carrying the team to Minsk, Belarus where they were set to open their season. KHL games, postponed following the crash, will resume on Monday. 

We'll continue to update this StoryStream with news on the Lokomotiv plane crash. 


Brad McCrimmon, Pavol Demitra Among Confirmed Dead In Russian Plane Crash

The tragic plane crash in Russia on Wednesday has claimed the lives of the majority of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice hockey club, as has been confirmed by various news sources. Reports vary on the exact death toll, but the Associated Press has reported that at least 43 are dead. 

According to the AP, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry claimed the plane was carrying 45 people -- 37 passengers and eight crew -- and that just two people survived the crash. One survivor is a flight engineer whose name has not been made public. The other is a player on the hockey team, but his outlook does not look good. 

The agent for Lokomotiv player Alexander Galimov told Russia's Sovetsky Sport that his client is alive but in coma following the crash. According to reporter Dmitry Chesnokov, Galimov was the lone survivor from the team and is in the hospital with burns covering the majority of his body. Unfortunately, Chesnokov also reports that Galimov could still pass away from his injuries despite surgery. In fact, doctors apparently call his survival "unlikely."

We're attempting to piece together various reports and there are a lot of them out there, but we've heard that every member of the ice hockey club was on the plane, meaning that if it's true that Galimov was the lone surviving member of the team, the rest of the club is gone.

That would include former NHLer Brad McCrimmon, head coach of Lokomotiv, and ex-NHL players Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek and Pavol Demitra, as well as New Jersey Devils prospect Alexandner Vasyunov. 

There were reports that Salei was not on the plane, but those seem to be untrue, with Russian officials confirming that he was indeed aboard the flight. Russia Today has confirmed the death of McCrimmon, and Demitra's death was confirmed to the AP by his agent. Vasyunov's death was confirmed by Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello. 

We'll continue updating this StoryStream as we learn more about Wednesday's tragedy.


Several Former NHL Players Feared Dead In Russian Plane Crash

We don't yet officially know exactly who was on the plane that crashed outside Yaroslavl, Russia this Wednesday, but we do know that the plane was carrying almost the entire Lokomotiv hockey team, and there are reports that the majority of those on board have died in the crash. The team was traveling to Minsk for the first game of their season, but the plane crashed on take off. 

According to Sovietsky Sport and Dmirty Chesnokov, a Lokomotiv team official said that the entire team was on the plane, plus four members of the youth team. Other reports are saying that, according to authorities on the ground, 42 people were on board the plane and only two survived. 

We don't know the names of the survivors, but we do know that there was a tragic loss of life Wednesday, and it's likely that several ex-NHL players are among the dead.

Former NHL defenseman Brad McCrimmon is in his first year as head coach of Lokomotiv. Other former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek and Karlis Skrastins are all members of the club as well and presumably were on the plane. 

We'll update this StoryStream as we learn more about Wednesday's horrific crash. 

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