An Avro RJ85 operated by LaMia Airlines crashed in La Ceja, Colombia on Monday (28th November), killing 71 people including members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense.
The chartered flight from Bolivia’s Viru Viru International Airport to José María Córdova International Airport in Medellín, Colombia was carrying a total of 77 people (68 passengers and 9 crew members).
According to The New York Times, only 6 people survived the tragic event: 3 players, 2 crew members, and a journalist who was accompanying the team. Aeronáutica Civil, Colombia’s civil aviation agency, said that both of the aircraft’s black boxes have been recovered and are in the hands of investigators. It was also believed that the plane ran out of fuel before crashing.
Chapecoense was set to go against Atlético Nacional, the Colombian team, in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana championship (South American Cup) on Wednesday (30th November). The Brazilian team surprised many with its performance this year and the match was said to be the biggest in the team’s history.
In a Facebook statement, Atlético Nacional said that the South American Football Confederation should declare Chapecoense as this year’s winner.
In an interview, Chapecoense’s vice president Ivan Tozzo said, “We are very sad, gathered here in the locker room of our stadium. We are still waiting for news. All our board is there, our players. We have nothing concrete on their state. There are a lot of people crying in our city. We could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here.”
The president of Brazil Michel Temer declared 3 days of national mourning for the victims of the crash. Surviving team members are Alan Ruschel, Follmann, who had one of his legs amputated due to his injuries, and Neto.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected by the tragic crash ?