Brazilian Club Footballers Among 76 Killed in Colombia Plane Crash

Brazil's Chapecoense players pose for pictures during a 2016 Copa Sudamericana match in Chapeco. Most of the players were aboard the ill-fated flight.
Brazil’s Chapecoense players pose for pictures during a 2016 Copa Sudamericana match in Chapeco. Most of the players were aboard the ill-fated flight.

BOGOTA: Brazilian football team Chapecoense were on board a plane carrying 81 people that crashed in Colombia killing 76 people, police said on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Chapecoense, from Brazil’s top league, had been flying in to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday’s Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.

“Six people were rescued alive, but unfortunately one died. The rest of the occupants unfortunately died. The tragic toll is 76 victims,” Jose Gerardo Acevedo, regional police commander, told journalists.

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The club said in a statement that it would not be making any official comments until it had more information from Colombian authorities about Monday night’s crash. Brazilian media reported that three players were among the survivors.

The Brazilian government on Tuesday declared three days mourning for the victims of a plane that went down in Colombia, killing 76 people including much of Brazil’s Chapecoense football team.

President Michel Temer ordered the mourning period. Officials in Colombia said that five people survived when the charter plane, which originated in Sao Paulo in Brazil, crashed near Medellin.

Flight tracking service Flightradar24 said on Twitter the last tracking signal from flight 2933 had been received when it was at 15,500 feet, about 30 km from its destination, which sits at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

Colombia’s civil aviation association said on its website that rescuers are moving survivors from the crash site. The Chapocoense football team was among the 72 passengers and nine crew on board the aircraft, which took off from Santa Cruz in Bolivia.

All that's left of the LAMIA aircraft crashed in an area called Cerro Gordo about 50km from Medellin, Colombia's second largest city.
All that’s left of the LAMIA aircraft that crashed in an area called Cerro Gordo about 50km from Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city.

The LAMIA aircraft crashed in an area called Cerro Gordo about 50km from Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city. “It appears that the plane ran out of fuel,” Elkin Ospina, the mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja, said.

Medellin airport added in a statement that the crew of the plane declared an emergency due to an “electrical fault” at 10pm local time.

“The police and rescue officials are already present at the site of the incident that can only be accessed by land – and weather conditions are low visibility,” an airport official said.

Formed in 1973, the club first won promotion to Brazil’s top flight in 2014. The Copa Sudamericana is South America’s second tier club competition, one level below the Copa Libertadores. The final of the Copa Sudamericana has now been suspended.