Sports fanatics all over the world are calling the death of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Lokomovtiv team one of the most horrendous and tragic events in the world of sports.
The entire Russian-based hockey team was killed when an aircraft was hurled into the Vulga River and burst into flames on Sept. 7. The accident occurred shortly after takeoff, killing 43 people, said the Los Angeles Times, 35 of which were players and coaches and eight crew members.
Rescue crews managed to save Russian player Alexander Galimov, who suffered severe burns but passed away Monday, according to the New York Times. The team was traveling to its opening match scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Minsk.
The crash is being blamed on weak government control, poorly trained pilots, and an attempt at cost efficiency, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Oswego State club hockey head coach Jay Peacock compared the KHL to the National Hockey League.
“I remember many years ago when the Marshall University football team was killed in a plane crash,” Peacock said. “It was a huge tragedy and it took years to rebuild the program. The same is very true here. I am sure that the Russian hockey fans are mourning the tragedy. It was a sad day for Russian hockey, and a sad day for all of the hockey world.”
Adam Webster, the captain of the club hockey team said the crash reminds him to never take advantage of the people and experiences attained through playing hockey.
“Too many people get caught up in the atmosphere of competition they forget to take into consideration that many of whom they play against are very similar to themselves,” Webster said. “Through the mourning process I believe the hockey community will become closer and humble both on and off the ice.”