Fans Flying to Champions League Match in Donetsk Involved in Fatal Plane Crash

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 13, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

A plane carrying fans to Wednesday night's Champions League match at Donbass Arena in Ukraine crashed after being forced to attempt an emergency landing, killing at least four people. 

The devastating news comes from the Kyiv Post (h/t Pro Soccer Talk):

Four people were killed in an emergency landing of a South Airlines aircraft at Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport, Donetsk region Governor Andriy Shyshatsky has told journalists.

"Most passengers were rescued. Four people were killed, as of now. One more person has been found under the debris of the aircraft, but we don't know whether he is alive or not. We are searching for one more person," the governor said.

According to the report, every passenger on board the flight was headed to Donetsk to witness Shakhtar take on Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the Round of 16 Champions League match. 

The crash occurred when the plane overshot the runway and "broke apart" during an emergency landing. 

There were 45 people on board the plane in total. Four have been reported dead and 39 have been rescued. At least 12 are injured.  

The match, which started as scheduled at 2:45 p.m. EST, began with a short moment of silence for those involved in the terrible accident. 

This is truly a saddening tragedy, and it is heartbreaking that these fans suffered such a horrible situation simply doing what they love. 

For these people to be taking a plane ride on the day of the match simply to see their team play points to how incredibly loyal and true they are as fans.

On a day in which some of the most important soccer matches in the world are taking place, this is a truly humbling event. Sports can be important, and they sometimes help overcome tragedy, but they take a back seat when we are reminded how precious life can be. 

This is one of those moments, and for now, our hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to all the individuals affected.