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Last Russian hockey player dies

The remaining player from Russia's major league ice hockey team has died, bringing the toll from last week's plane crash to 44 people.

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(Antler)

The last player from Russia's top ice hockey team has died, bringing the toll from last week's plane crash to 44 people, a Moscow hospital said.

Lokomotiv winger Alexander Galimov battled severe burns to more than 90 per cent of his body for four days after the Yak-42 plane carrying the hockey team crashed near the club's home town of Yaroslavl, AFP reports.

The 26-year-old Yaroslavl local was one of just two people who was not instantly killed. The other person, a crew member, is still receiving treatment, BBC reports.

"Despite therapy that included all modern treatment methods, Alexander Galimov died in the morning from burns," Moscow's Vishnevsky surgical institute said in a statement on its website, AFP reports.

"Lord, we all hoped so much for a miracle. The last string has been torn," said one of the messages on Lokomotiv's website, which has been turned into an outpouring of grief from fans filling its guestbook.

The 18-year-old jet had just taken off before it faltered and crashed. Russian aviation authorities have not determined the cause but the tragedy sparked Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to order a shut down on Sunday of unreliable airlines.

He also announced that he would raise penalties for air safety violations, AFP reports.

An estimated 100,000 people attended the memorial service at the team's home ground on Saturday, including prime minister Vladimir Putin.

The Russian Hockey Federation issued a statement on Monday saying: "We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Alexander, and all to whom his fight for life has remained the last hope in this terrible tragedy," BBC reports.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/110912/last-russian-hockey-player-dies