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Former defenseman Karlis Skrastins dies in Russian plane crash

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

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The Stars are saddened to report that former defenseman Karlis Skrastins passed away today in a plane crash in Russia. Latvian officials have confirmed the death of Skrastins.

Skrastins was a member of the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv, which was flying to Minsk for its first game of the season. Lokomotiv has confirmed that the entire main roster, plus four players from the youth team, was on the plane.

“The Dallas Stars family is shocked and saddened by the passing of Karlis Skrastins and so many other young lives in a plane crash in Russia today,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Karlis’ wife Zane and his two daughters, Karolina and Laurena, as well as all of the families and friends who lost loved ones on the plane. Karlis was a wonderful father and husband, as well as a good friend. He will be greatly missed.”

The crash occurred near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia and claimed the lives of at least 43 people, according to Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry. The majority of victims are believed to be members of the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv.

The crash occurred at 12 noon Moscow time and the weather was sunny and clear, according to reports.

Eight crew members are also among the dead, according to reports. According to Russian aviation officials, two passengers survived the crash, but are in critical condition. According to Sovetsky Sport, one of the survivors is Russian forward Alexander Galimov.

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