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Russian Meteorite Damages KHL Arena, Putting Playoffs In Jeopardy

Illustration for article titled Russian Meteorite Damages KHL Arena, Putting Playoffs In Jeopardy

A meteorite exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk today, shattering glass, damaging buildings, and injuring nearly 1,000 people. (Head over to Gawker for all your bolide porn.)


According to a statement, the Traktor Sport Palace—home arena of the KHL's Traktor Chelyabinsk—also suffered damage in the event. It's been temporarily closed, and will receive a full inspection over the weekend to determine whether it's safe to hold events. Traktor Chelyabinsk is luckily on the road, but is scheduled to host its first playoff game on Thursday.


The full statement, from the KHL:

The meteor shower which struck Chelyabinsk and its environs has also caused some disruption to the hockey season schedule. The emergency services have confirmed that the walls of the Arena Traktor were among those structures to suffer damage, and therefore large-scale events at the stadium have been postponed. The sporting facilities will undergo an inspection by experts to assess the readiness of the arena to return to full operational use.

The results of the assessment will be made public on Monday, after which it will become clear whether the Chelyabinsk club can stage the first games of the play-offs. The knockout stages of the Gagarin Cup get underway on Wednesday, and as Traktor is already assured of a top four place in the Eastern conference, the team is due to start the play-offs with home games on the 21st and 22nd of February.

At this time, the meteor shower has not affected Traktor's schedule, as the Chelyabinsk men finish their regular season campaign with a trip on the road to Magnitogorsk on Sunday. However, three events -today's and tomorrow's Youth Hockey League games between Belye Medvedi of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk's Stalnye Lisy and Saturday's planned opening of the Traktor's museum - have had to be postponed.

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