A Russian jet plane carrying a major league ice hockey team crashed while taking off in city of Yaroslavl, killing 36 of the 37 people onboard.
We believe that there were 37 people onboard. 36 of them are presumed dead and one is believed to be injured, emergencies ministry spokeswoman Yelena Smirnykh told Rossiya 24 state television.
The Yak-42 plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team to the capital of Belarus, Minsk, where they were to play against Dinamo Minsk in the inaugural game of the Kontinental Hockey League's 2011 season, the Associated Press reported.
The reason of the crash was not known.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin immediately sent the nation's transport minister to the site of the crash, 10 miles east of Yaroslavl.
President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to take the aging Soviet-built planes out of service starting next year. The short and medium range Yak-42 had been in service since 1980 and dozens were still in service with Russian and other airlines, the AP reported.
This is the second major air crash in Russia in three months. In June this year, a passenger jet crashed in city of Petrozavodsk, killing 47 persons.