Czechs mourn lost hockey stars at impromptu gatherings

A memorial to mark the tragic death of three Czech ice hockey stars kicked off in Prague on Thursday. In the afternoon, hundreds of people gathered at the square, where a makeshift shrine of flags, Jerseys and tricolor flags had been assembled during an impromptu gathering on Wednesday night. Czech ice hockey player Patrik Eliáš was among those who lit a candle in memory of the victims of Wednesday’s plane crash, in which 43 people were killed, among them the Czech players Karel Rachůnek, Josef Vašíček and Jan Marek.

A Yak-42 plane came down shortly after take off from the Russian city of Yaroslavl on Wednesday and burst into flames. The players were taking off for Minsk for the first match of the season. Among the 43 victims were Russian and European hockey players. Only two passengers survived and are in critical condition with severe burns.

Author: Sarah Borufka