2016 – BBC World News – Brazil’s Football Team Perish in Plane crash in Colombia – 29/11/16
(BBC News, 29 Nov 2016) – A plane carrying 81 people, including a top Brazilian football team, has crashed on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia.
Colombia’s civil aviation body says only six people survived the crash, blamed on an electrical fault.
The chartered aircraft, flying from Brazil via Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense team.
The team had been due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Medellin team Atletico Nacional.
Organisers say Atletico Nacional has asked for Chapecoense to be awarded the cup. Brazilian clubs have offered to loan players to them for free for the next year.
Colombian aviation officials said there were 21 journalists on board.
The plane lost contact with ground controllers as it approached Medellin at about 22:15 (03:45 GMT), after the pilot reported an electrical fault. It came down in a mountainous area.
At least two of the survivors are footballers. They were confirmed to be defender Alan Ruschel and reserve goalkeeper Jackson Follman.
Some reports suggest another defender, Helio Neto, was also rescued.
Goalkeeper Marcos Padilha, also known as Danilo, was pulled alive from the wreckage but a spokesman said he later died in hospital.
The sports network Telemundo Deportes tweeted (in Spanish) that Ruschel was in shock but conscious and talking, and had asked to keep his wedding ring and to see his family.
Chapecoense’s vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, told cable channel SporTV: “There are a lot of people crying in our city. We could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here.”
Goalkeeping coach Marcelo De Quadros Kunst stayed in Brazil with players who did not travel to Colombia.
He told the BBC: “We see wives fainting, ambulances taking them to the hospital, family members holding on to football boots left behind.”
Argentine forward Alejandro Martinuccio was one of those who had to stay behind. “I was saved because I got injured,” he told Argentina’s La Red radio.
“I feel profound sadness. The only thing I can ask is prayers for the companions who were on the flight.”
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