Plane Carrying A Brazilian Football Team Crashes

A plane carrying 72 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.

The team was due to play in the final of the South American club cup against Medellin team Atletico Nacional. The final has now been suspended.

Reports say the plane crashed in a mountainous area outside the city shortly before midnight local time (05:00 GMT).

Here’s a summary of what we know so far:

Brazil’s president Michel Tamer has declared three days of national mourning after a plane carrying the Chapecoense football team crashed in Colombia, killing 75 people on board.
At least six people, including three players – Alan Ruschel, Jakson Follman and Zampier Neto – survived the crash. The goalkeeper Danilo was initially reported to have survived but died from his injuries, according to reports.

 Two crew members – Ximena Suárez and Erwin Tumiri – and the journalist Rafael Valmorbida also survived, according to Colombia’s civil aviation authorities. 
Those killed on the flight included 21 journalists travelling with the team for Chapecoense’s Copa Sudamerica finals match against Atléticao in Colombia’s second city, Medellín. The plane was en route from Bolivia to Medellín.

The plane, a British Aerospace 146 was given priority to land but did not reach the airport, according to Alfredo Bocanegra, the head of Colombia’s civil aviation authority. It lost contact with ground controllers at around midnight.

It is unclear why the plane crashed. The weather was stormy when the plane went down. There has been unconfirmed speculation that there may have been an electrical fault or that it ran out of fuel.

As the plane was made in Britain, a team from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch is sending inspectors to the crash site. Questions have been raised about why a team request to fly direct from Brazil, instead of from Bolivia, was rejected by Brazil’s civial aviation authority. 

Bad weather hampered rescue efforts, which had to be briefly suspended due to heavy rain. Daylight images from the site showed rescue workers carrying away shrouded bodies of those killed in the crash.

Football teams across the world have been expressing their condolences.
The mayor of Medellín said the crash was “a tragedy of huge proportions”. Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, offered support and sympathy to the families of those killed.

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