75 Dead After Plane Carrying A Brazilian Soccer Team Crashes In Colombia

Eighty-one people were aboard the flight when it crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport. There were six survivors.

By: Michelle Broder Van DykeAlicia Melville-SmithTamerra Griffin

Seventy-five people died, including members of Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, when a plane crashed in La Ceja, Colombia, on its way to Medellin’s international airport on Monday night, police said. 

Gen. Jose Acevado, head of police for the greater Medellin area, said six people on the flight survived, according to the Associated Press.

According to police in Antioquia, 65 bodies have been recovered from the debris, and 63 have been transported to Medellin. 

Later, a seventh passenger was rescued alive from the wreckage, but authorities told the AP that one of the initial six survivors, Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, died en route to the hospital. 

The charter aircraft took off from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and was carrying nine crew and 72 passengers, including members of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense. The team was set to play in the Copa Sudamericana finals against Atletico Nacional in Medellin on Wednesday.

Nelson Almeida / AFP / Getty Images

Nelson Almeida / AFP / Getty Images

Fox Sports announced that six of its Brazilian employees were aboard the flight. It is unclear how many of the Fox Sports workers survived the crash.

In an English version of the statement — which was signed by executive co-chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and CEO James Murdoch — the company said that it had set up a fund to honor their colleagues.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Chapecoense said it would not release details on the crash until further information was provided by the Colombian Aviation Authority. 

“May God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists, and other guests who are with the delegation,” the statement said. 

The team’s vice president, Ivan Tozzo, told cable channel SporTV, “We are very sad, gathered here in the locker room of our stadium. We are still waiting for news. All our board is there, our players. We have nothing concrete on their state.”

“There are a lot of people crying in our city. We could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here. We hope there are many survivors, at least that most of them are OK,” he said.

“Relief agencies transfer several of the #Chapecoense survivors to Eastern Antioquia clinics and hospitals.”

Brazil’s president Michel Temer declared three days of official mourning for those killed in the accident. 

His full statement reads: “In this sad hour that a tragedy strikes dozens of Brazilian families, I express my solidarity. We are disposing every tool to help the families and give all possible assistance. The Air Force and the Itamaraty [Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs] were already put in action. The government will do everything on its reach to lighten the pain of friends and families of the national sport and journalism.”

Officials in the city of Chapecó, where the team is based, announced a 30-day mourning period, according to Globo. Classes have been suspended for the next two days.

 

Luis Benavides / AP

Luis Benavides / AP

The plane crashed in a mountainous area, which airport officials said was difficult to reach and could be accessed only by land due to weather conditions. 

The head of Colombia’s civil aviation agency said authorities weren’t ruling out the possibility that the plane ran out of fuel before crashing. Alfredo Bocanegra said communication with Bolivian aviation officials suggested the aircraft was experiencing electrical problems.

Courtesy of: BuzzFeed.com

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