- At least 71 people were killed when a plane crashed in Colombia on Monday
- Most of the victims were members of a rising Brazilian football team from a small city
- Six people have reportedly survived including 3 players, 2 crew members and a journalist
At least 71 people were killed after a commercial plane carrying 77 people, majority of whom are football players of a rising team from a small Brazilian city, crashed in a Colombian mountain on Monday, November 28.
The Avro AJ85 aircraft – a chartered flight – was traveling from Santa Cruz, Bolivia en route to Medellin, Colombia to participate in the Copa Sudamericana; an international competition for South American football.
On board were members of the Chapecoense football team who rose from small-town to national fame and were supposed to play in the finals against the Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.
Also on board were 22 journalists who accompanied the team to cover the event.
According to CNN, only 6 people survived the crash including three players, namely Alan Ruschel, Jakson Follman and Zampier Neto. A goalkeeper named Danilo was initially reported to have survived but died on the way to the hospital.
At least one journalist – Rafael Valmorbida – and two crew members – Ximena Suárez and Erwin Tumiri – also survived the tragedy.
The plane took off from Bolivia and was flying over the town of La Union around 10 pm when the cockpit declared an emergency due to electrical failure. The aircraft went down in the mountainous area near Rionegro, Colombia, about 22 kilometers from the Medellin airport where it was scheduled to land.
Heartbroken fans from the town of Chapeco were shocked and could not believe the misfortune that befell on their beloved team.
“This is a relatively small city, so everyone knows somebody who was on the plane. Everybody is shocked, and nobody really knows how to react. Nothing like this has ever happened here,” said Professor Roberto Panarotto.
Brazilian president, Michel Temer, has already declared three days of national mourning following the recent tragedy that rocked the sports world.
Authorities have found the plane’s black box and is now investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has also sent inspectors to the crash site since the aircraft was made in Britain.