Ceremony held for Russian hockey team after deadly plane crash

Ceremony held for Russian hockey team after deadly plane crash

Yaroslavl : Russia | Sep 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM PDT
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Dinamo Riga - Lokomotiv Jaroslav 2:3 ( KHL game )

Thousands gathered in the Russian city of Yaroslavl to say farewell to members of the Lokomotiv ice hockey team who were killed in a plane crash earlier this week.

The ceremony on Saturday marked the official end of a three-day mourning period for the 43 dead, many of them players or staff from the top-level professional ice hockey team.

Fans, friends and family had been bringing flowers to the Arena 2000 hall since the early morning and lighting candles, Russian television stations reported. Coffins were arrayed on the arena's artificial ice.

Images showed mourners - some in tears and many wearing the team's jersey - paying tribute in silence.

The dead included national players and as well as people from other countries, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Ukraine. Separate burial ceremonies were also planned in those countries.

In Moscow, meanwhile, doctors were continuing to fight for the lives of two crash survivors. Hospital officials said player Aleksandr Galimov remained in critical condition. Treatment was also ongoing for a member of the team's staff.

Taking off Wednesday from an airport outside Yaroslavl, the Soviet Yak-42 passenger plane failed to gain altitude and clipped a runway antenna before crashing and breaking apart.

The reasons for Russia's worst sporting disaster were still unclear two days after Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee received the flight recorders.

Officials have so far determined merely that the plane's engines and flaps were working until the crash and have found no malfunctions yet that would explain the jet's failure to gain altitude.

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Ceremony held for Russian hockey team after deadly plane crash
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