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Last surviving member of Russian hockey team in plane crash dies

September 12, 2011 |  9:23 am

Hockey_250 The last surviving member of a Russian hockey team involved in a plane crash last week died Monday in a Moscow hospital.

Alexander Galimov, 26, died of the severe burns that covered 90% of his body, officials said. He had been treated at the Vishnevsky Hospital, whose burn unit is considered to be one of the best in Russia.

Wednesday's crash of a chartered Yak-42 jet outside the western city of Yaroslavl claimed the lives of 37 players, coaches and staff of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team and 44 people overall. Flight crew member Alexander Sizov, now the lone survivor, has been moved out of intensive care and into a general ward, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

Galimov was a native of Yaroslavl who once played in its youth program. Fans had chanted “Galimov, live for the whole team!” at rallies following the crash.

“All of Yaroslavl, all of the country, all of the world followed the doctors' words, believing, hoping, praying that he would defeat death and remain with us,” Yaroslavl Gov. Sergei Vakhrukov said.

Vakhrukov added of Galimov: “He carried the team spirit of Lokomotiv and through his indomitable character often reversed the course of the most difficult games."

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-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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