Plane Crashes In Colombia Carrying Brazilian Football Team

A plane with 81 people aboard, including Brazilian football team Chapocoense, crashed in Colombia during the flight from Bolivia to Medellin’s international airport.

The Medellin international airport has confirmed this tragedy through Twitter, although it has not confirmed the exact number of casualties, as per The Guardian.

But the management and emergency team at Jose Maria Cordova airport in Rio Negro, Colombia has said that there are some survivors from the crash.

It has been reported that the plane was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, and the incident occurred at 5 p.m. GMT, as per the BBC News.

‘Take the wounded is difficult because it is very wooded, although there is much collaboration,” said Hugo Botero Lopez, mayor of La Union, as reported by the Daily Mail.

‘There are firemen of La Union, Rionegro, El Carmen de Vibroal, La Ceja, there are more than 90 lifeguards, but it is not easy to get people who are alive. We can not give so far no official report,” he added.

The team was traveling to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against Colombia team Atletico Nacional.

Chapocoene was recently promoted to Brazil’s top division two years ago, and after the semi-final win against Argentina’s San Lorenzo, the team was traveling to play the first leg of the final.

Colombian Aviation authorities said the plane, a British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane operated by a Bolivian charter airline named Lamia, declared an emergency at 5 p.m. GMT.

“The site of the accident is only accessible by land due to climatic conditions and low visibility,” a statement from the airport said, as reported by the Mirror.

“The Colombian Air Force deployed a search and rescue helicopter which had to cancel the mission due to the adverse conditions.

“According to the authorities the police are mobilising all possible help since they are reporting six survivors.”

According to the authorities, poor weather conditions has made the accident site inaccessible by air, so the rescue process is not going the best possible way.

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.

Chapocoense was in its fairytale campaign as the small club from Chapeco had reached the final of a major South American club competition, the European equivalent of UEFA Europa League.

The club was the 21st biggest club in Brazil in terms of revenue, bringing in $13.5 million in 2015, an unprecedented achievement for the club that played in the first division just two years ago for the first time in their history.

Meanwhile the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, has announced a suspension to all football matches after the tragedy.

The governing body of Latin American football announced that all football activities in the region is now suspended until further notice.

“The South American Football Confederation confirms that it has been notified by Colombian authorities that a plane that was carrying the delegation of Brazil Chapecoense Atletico had an accident on its arrival in Colombia,” they announced in a statement, as per the Mirror.

“We are in contact with the authorities and awaiting official progress. CONMEBOL greatly regrets what happened.”

“All activities of the Confederation are suspended until further notice,” the statement concluded.

Tributes are coming from all over the world, as reported by Goal. Chapecoense’s opponent for the scheduled match, Atletico Nacional, tweeted its response to the tragedy.

“Nacional deeply regrets and sympathizes with Chapecoense because of the accident that happens and awaits information from the authorities.”

Mexican football association president Decio de Maria also commented.

“My prayers for the Chapecoense team and everybody who was aboard their aircraft. My support to their family and friends.”

[Featured Image by Colombia National Police/AP Images]