The tragedy occurred 12 years ago, but is still kept in the mem­o­ry of peo­ple — even those who are far from sports.

Exact­ly 12 years ago the Loko­mo­tiv hock­ey team died. The worst day in the his­to­ry of the KHL hap­pened on Sep­tem­ber 7, 2011: at the Yaroslavl Tunosh­na air­port, a few sec­onds after take­off, a Yak-42 plane crashed with the play­ers and the entire head­quar­ters on board.

Why did the tragedy happen?

The team flew out from Yaroslavl for the first match of the sea­son against Dynamo Min­sk. The play­ers, coach­ing staff, doc­tor and mas­sage ther­a­pists were on the plane. After the crash, 37 pas­sen­gers and 7 crew mem­bers died on the spot, and one hock­ey play­er was tak­en to the hos­pi­tal, where he soon died. Only flight atten­dant Alexan­der Sizov man­aged to sur­vive.

The plane crashed dur­ing take­off: it was unable to reach the required speed and rolled off the run­way, but still took off. But it did not gain alti­tude and col­lid­ed with a radio bea­con anten­na, and then crashed into the ground on the bank of the Tunoshon­ka Riv­er, broke into sev­er­al parts and caught fire.

The cause of the tragedy was offi­cial­ly rec­og­nized as a crew error. Dur­ing take­off of the Yak-42, one of the pilots pressed the brake ped­als. The plane rolled off the run­way, took off from the ground and col­lid­ed with a radio bea­con.

What consequences did the tragedy have for the world of sports?

On Sep­tem­ber 7, the open­ing match of the new sea­son took place in Ufa — between Salavat Yulaev and Atlant. When the news came about the death of Loko­mo­tiv, the match was stopped in the 15th minute of the first peri­od. KHL Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Medvedev came out and announced the death of the Yaroslavl team, end­ing the match.

The only sur­vivor was the young 26-year-old strik­er Alexan­der Gal­imov. He climbed out of the burn­ing plane on his own and was tak­en to the hos­pi­tal with burns to 90% of his body and res­pi­ra­to­ry tract.

Alexander Galimov fought for his life, but died in the hospital

Five days lat­er, Gal­imov, for whom the whole coun­try was wor­ried, died. Also trag­ic is the fate of Yuri Urychev, who could not play in Min­sk due to injury and dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, but decid­ed to sup­port his part­ners.

For sev­er­al years, KHL match­es were not held on Sep­tem­ber 7, but then the tra­di­tion was bro­ken. How­ev­er, they did not for­get the tragedy: on the 12th anniver­sary, the KHL pub­lished a post on Memo­r­i­al Day. “09/07/2011. “Loko­mo­tiv” Yaroslavl. We remem­ber,” the press ser­vice wrote.