AIRLINE OFFICIALS DENOUNCED AFTER FATAL SOCCER CRASH
rio negro, colombia » Victims of this week’s tragic air crash in the Andes were flown home Friday as Bolivia’s president called for “drastic measures” against aviation officials who signed off on a flight plan that experts and even one of the charter airline’s executives said should never have been attempted because of a possible fuel shortage.
The move by President Evo Morales came after evidence emerged that the pilot reported the plane was out of fuel minutes before it slammed into a muddy mountainside, killing all but six of the 77 people on board. Among the dead were players and coaches from a small-town Brazilian soccer team that was headed to the finals of one of South America’s most prestigious tournaments after a fairytale season that had captivated their soccer-crazed nation.
As an honor guard played taps early Friday, members of Colombia’s military loaded five Bolivian crew members who died in the crash onto a cargo plane for the trip back home.
Later in the day, caskets containing the remains of 50 Brazilian victims, many draped with sheets printed with their team’s green and white logo, began the journey to the Chapecoense club’s hometown in southern Brazil.