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Plane with a Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia, Report
Plane with a Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia, Report

Plane with a Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia, Report

A plane carrying the Brazilian first division Chapecoense football team has crashed in north-central Colombia.

Six of the 81 people on board are believed to have survived the crash. Brazil has declared a mourning period following the plane crash.

A Reuters photographer said the British Aerospace 146 had split into two.

The tail end had been destroyed, leaving only the nose and wings recognisable.

Dozens of bodies had been covered with sheets, he added, as 30 rescuers, police and military personnel searched the site.

The plane, which departed from Santa Cruz in Bolivia, had been carrying the Chapecoense football team, based in Chapeco in southern Brazil.

Colombian authorities named the three footballers who survived as Alan Ruschel, Danilo, Jakson Follmann, and Neto.

The other two people who survived were passengers Rafael Correa Gobbato and Ximena Suarez.

Concerning the condition of 27-year-old defender Ruschel, a doctor said: “We still don’t have a final diagnosis.

“We are waiting for lab results and X-rays to make a decision and do a (surgical) procedure.”

It was reported in Brazil that 21 journalists had been on board the plane.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the club said: “May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation.”

Club vice president Ivan Tozzo told cable channel SporTV: “We are very sad, gathered here in the locker room of our stadium.

“There are a lot of people crying in our city. We could never imagine this.

“Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here.”

The side, which entered Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s, was preparing to play on Wednesday in the first of a two-leg Copa Sudamericana final against Medellin’s Atletico Nacional.

Atletico Nacional has tweeted to express its sympathies.

It is not yet clear what caused the aircraft – operated by charter airline LaMia – to come down, but Colombia has been experiencing heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The head of Colombia’s civil aviation agency, Alfredo Bocanegra, said reported comments from a female flight attendant that the plane had run out of fuel were being evaluated.

The main line of inquiry, however, is that there was an electrical failure.

The bad weather has made access to the crash site difficult, causing the rescue operation to be suspended in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Local fire department chief Edison Gutierrez said: “If it’s not four-wheel drive vehicles, you can’t get in.”

Radar shows the plane was circling before it landed.

The president of Brazil, Michel Temer, said: “I express my solidarity in this sad hour during which tragedy has beset dozens of Brazilian families.”

The foreign ministry and air force were helping relatives, Mr Temer added.

“The government will do all it can to alleviate the pain of the friends and family of sport and national journalism,” he said.

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, said on Twitter that its “thoughts are with the victims, their families, fans of Chapecoense and media organisations in Brazil on this tragic day”.

The South American football federation has suspended all games following the news from Colombia.


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