A PLANE carrying 81 people has crashed in the mountains of Colombia while making its way to the city of Medellin. There were nine crew members and 72 passengers on board, among them a top-ranked Brazilian football team.
Preliminary reports have indicated that there are at least six survivors, but also that at least 25 people have perished in the crash. The incident occurred shortly before midnight on Monday November 28 when the plane crashed in a mountainous area in the municipality of La Union. Emergency workers remain optimistic that there are more survivors, as the aircraft did not catch fire, but the rescue operation has been complicated by bad weather which has meant that the crash site is currently only accessible by land.
The football team on board, Chapecoense, was en route to Colombia to play against Medellin team Atletico Nacional in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second biggest football tournament. The first leg was due to be played on Wednesday (November 30), but has now been suspended indefinitely.
At least two members of the football squad are thought to have survived, including Alan Ruschel and Danilo. Brazilian sports provider Telemundo Deportes reported that Ruschel was in a state of shock but coherent, and that he had expressed a desire to see his family.
A press release from the airport in Medellin has indicated that shortly before the crash, the pilot of the plane had called in and mentioned an electrical fault. The plane had previously made a brief stopover in Bolivia.
Chapecoense has played in Brazil’s top division, Serie A, since being promoted in 2014. The team is currently placed ninth in the league and is Brazil’s 21st biggest club in terms of revenue.