Ex-Star Skrastins Among Dead in Russian Plane Crash

TUNOSHNA, Russia (AP) - Russia has been stunned today by a sporting tragedy when a jet carrying a top hockey team crashed -- killing at least 43 people.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry says the Yak-42 plane crashed into a bank of the Volga River immediately after leaving the airport near the city of Yaroslavl, 150 miles northeast of Moscow. It was sunny at the time of the accident.

The Emergency Ministry says Latvian defenseman Karlis Skrastins was among those killed. Skrastins formerly played for the Dallas Stars.

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.

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