Czechs mourn players killed in Russian crash

September 8, 2011 - 9:50 AM

PRAGUE (AP) — Hundreds are gathering at the Old Town Square in the heart of Prague to honor the three Czech hockey players who died in the plane crash that killed 43 people and wiped out a top Russian club.

People lit candles around a simple impromptu monument formed by two ice hockey sticks. Some wore the Czech national team jersey and chanted the names of the three players — Karel Rachunek, Jan Marek and Josef Vasicek.

Thirty-six players, coaches and staff of Russia's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team were killed when their Yak-42 jet crashed Wednesday en route to their first game of the season.

The Czech ice hockey federation plans a farewell ceremony for the players after their bodies are transported home.