An airplane carrying a Kontinental Hockey League team has crashed in Russia, killing 36 of the 37 passengers. (Update at 10:50 a.m.: The death toll is now at least 43).
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl had several former NHL players on its roster as of Aug. 31, including Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Josef Vasicek and Karlis Skrastins. No former Buffalo Sabres were listed on Wikipedia, while the team Website has been made unavailable.
Lokomotiv, which was on its way to play in Minsk, Belarus, is coached by longtime NHL defenseman Brad McCrimmon.
According to the Associated Press, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl.
President Dmitry Medvedev, according to the AP, had announced plans to take aging Soviet-built planes out of service starting next year. The Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and dozens are still in service with Russian and other airlines.