Pla­ne car­rying Bra­zil’s Chapecoense soc­cer team cras­hes in Co­lom­bia

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

CO­LOM­BIA - Bra­zi­li­an soc­cer team Chapecoense, hea­ding for the big­gest ga­me in their his­to­ry, we­re on board a pla­ne that cras­hed in­to Co­lom­bi­an jun­gle, kil­ling 76 pe­o­p­le, po­li­ce said yes­ter­day. A pho­to­grap­her at the sce­ne said do­zens of bo­dies we­re laid out and co­ver­ed with sheets around the wreck­a­ge as so­me 30 res­cu­ers, po­li­ce and mi­li­ta­ry per­son­nel searched the crash si­te of the pla­ne that had had 81 pe­o­p­le aboard. He said the BAe 146 char­ter air­craft had split in two with on­ly the no­se and wings re­cog­ni­za­ble and the tail end com­ple­te­ly de­st­roy­ed in the crash on Mon­day

Chapecoense, from Bra­zil’s top le­a­gue, had been fly­ing to fa­ce At­le­ti­co Na­ci­o­nal of Me­del­lin on Wed­nes­day in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana fi­nal, South Ame­ri­ca’s equi­va­lent of the Eu­ro­pa Le­a­gue. It was the first ti­me the small club from Cha­p­eco had re­a­ched the fi­nal of a ma­jor South Ame­ri­can club com­pe­ti­ti­on. Play­ers Alan Lu­ci­a­no Ruschel, Mar­cos Da­ni­lo Pa­dil­ha and Jak­son Rag­nar Foll­mann we­re li­sted as sur­vi­vors in a sta­te­ment from Co­lom­bia’s disas­ter ma­na­ge­ment ag­en­cy. Tri­bu­tes pou­red in from the glo­bal soc­cer fa­mi­ly. The club said in a sta­te­ment it would not be ma­king any of­fi­ci­al com­ments un­til it had mo­re in­for­ma­ti­on from Co­lom­bi­an au­tho­ri­ties. “Six pe­o­p­le we­re res­cued ali­ve, but un­for­tu­na­te­ly one died. The rest of the oc­cu­pants un­for­tu­na­te­ly died. The tra­gic toll is 76 vic­tims,” Jo­se Gerar­do Ace­ve­do, re­gi­o­nal po­li­ce com­man­der, told jour­na­lists. The pla­ne cras­hed in a moun­tai­nous ru­ral area out­si­de of the ci­ty of Me­del­lin and hea­vy rain at one point hal­ted res­cue ope­ra­ti­ons. Flight trac­king ser­vi­ce Flightra­dar24 said on Twit­ter the last trac­king sig­nal from flight 2933 had been re­cei­ved when it was at 15,500 feet, about 30 km from its des­ti­na­ti­on, which sits at an al­ti­tu­de of 7,000 feet.

Bra­zi­li­an news or­ga­ni­za­ti­ons said 21 jour­na­lists had been on board to co­ver the match. The crash evo­ked me­mo­ries of Mu­nich air disas­ter in 1958, which kil­led 23 pe­o­p­le, in­clu­ding eight Man­ches­ter Uni­ted play­ers, jour­na­lists and tra­ve­ling of­fi­ci­als.

World governing bo­dy FIFA said on Twit­ter its “thoughts we­re with the vic­tims, their fa­mi­lies, fans of Chapecoense and me­dia or­ga­ni­za­ti­ons in Bra­zil on this tra­gic day”. Bra­zi­li­an Pre­si­dent Mi­chel Te­mer ex­pres­sed his grief: “I ex­press my so­li­da­ri­ty in this sad hour du­ring which tra­ge­dy has be­set do­zens of Bra­zi­li­an fa­mi­lies,” he said, ad­ding that Bra­zil’s fo­reign mi­ni­stry and Air For­ce we­re wor­king to as­sist the re­la­ti­ves. “The govern­ment will do all it can to al­le­vi­a­te the pain of the friends and fa­mi­ly of sport and na­ti­o­nal jour­na­lism.”


The cras­hed air­pla­ne that car­ried 81 pe­o­p­le on board, in­clu­ding play­ers from a Bra­zi­li­an foot­ball team in Co­lom­bia.(Pho­to: Xin­hua)

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