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The Chapecoense football team was onboard the ill-fated plane.Image/epa

Plane with Brazil soccer team crashes in Colombia, 75 dead

SAO PAULO, November 29, 2016

A chartered plane with a Brazilian first division soccer team crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing 75 people, Colombian officials said.

Six people survived the crash, reported the AP, citing senior government officials.

The ill-fated British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members.

Operated by a charter airline named LaMia, the plane declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10 pm Monday (0300 GMT) because of an electrical failure, aviation authorities said.

The aircraft, which had departed from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was transporting the Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil for the first leg on Wednesday of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

“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 on Monday local time.

He said ambulances and rescuers were on their way. It is not clear what caused the crash of the aircraft, but Colombia had been hit by heavy rains and thunderstorms in recent hours.

Medellin’s airport confirmed that the aircraft, which made a stop in Bolivia, was transporting the first division Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil.

The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellinm, said the report.

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.




Tags: Plane Crash | Colombia | Brazil soccer players |

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