CREDIT: ANDRES FELIPE ARCOS
An airplane with 81 people on board, including players from a Brazilian football team heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, has crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.
Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez said that it is possible there are survivors.
Members of Chapocoense, the Brazilian football club, were among the 72 passengers and 9 crew members on board the aircraft that crashed in Colombia on its way to Medellin’s international airport. The primary reason cited for the crash, that took place around 10 pm local time, was low fuel.
Local media reported that the charter aircraft, which had deported from Bolivia, was carrying members of the football team which was scheduled to play Copa Sudamerica finals against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday in Medellin.
“It’s a tragedy of huge huge proportions.”
The helicopter that was supposed to help in rescue activities was forced to go back owing to rain and harsh weather conditions.
“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where the chartered aircraft is believed to have crashed shortly before midnight local time.
Reportedly, six survivors have been injured and are being evacuated from the spot.
A Twitter user posted a video that shows the plane going missing on the radar.
Following news of the crash, the football tournament was suspended by the South American football confederation CONMEBOL.
The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.
A video published on the team’s Facebook page showed the team readying for the flight earlier Monday in Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos international airport.
The team, from the small city of Chapeco, joined Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating Argentina’s legendary San Lorenzo squad.
(With inputs from media agencies.)
Brazil football team Chapecoense in Colombia plane crash
A plane carrying 81 people, including a Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia, officials say.
Details are unclear but some reports say there are survivors.
The chartered plane, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense football team, airport officials said.
The team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against Medellin team Atletico Nacional.
The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for Wednesday, but has now been suspended.
The team, from the city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.
Reports say the plane, carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed in a mountainous area outside the city shortly before midnight local time (05:00 GMT).
Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez described it as “a tragedy of huge proportions”, but added it was possible there were survivors.
The Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport, which serves Medellin, posted on its Twitter account: “Confirmed, the aircraft licence number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors.”
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