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KHL Team Plane Crash Kills 43; Former St. Louis Blue Pavol Demitra Now Confirmed Dead

It's unknown who exactly was on the jet that snapped in two shortly after takeoff today, but 43 people are reported dead after a jet carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv. From Russia Today:

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The plane went down and caught fire shortly after taking to the air. Preliminary reports say it had insufficient lift and hit a beacon tower. The crash site is between 500 and 1,000 meters from the runway, according to different reports.

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The Yak-42 was on its way to the Belarusian capital Minsk and had 37 people on board, aviation authorities reported. The aircraft’s maximum capacity is 120 passengers and crew.

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Former St. Louis Blue Pavol Demitra is one of many former NHLers on the squad, who is one of the top teams in the KHL. A criminal investigation by the Investigative Committee and the Interstate Aviation Committee has also launched a probe.

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There is no word yet as to who was specifically on board the plane, but it is feared that a majority of the team, coaches, and support staff are gone.

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All of our thoughts and prayers are with the team, their friends, their families, and the KHL.

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[Note by hildymac, 09/07/11 9:56 AM EDT ]

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Hockey Wilderness confirms that Pavol Demitra was in fact on board the plane.

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[Note by hildymac, 09/07/11 11:27 AM EDT ]

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As confirmed by his agent and by the St. Louis Post Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford, Pavol Demitra was on board the plane and is one of those killed in the plane crash.