Colom­bia plane ran out of fuel: pi­lot

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

based, and the United King­dom also sent in ex­perts to help the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Chapoc­oense foot­ball team — and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing en­tourage of staff — were among 77 pas­sen­gers and crew on­board the air­craft. A large num­ber of jour­nal­ists were also on the plane.

All six sur­vivors were be­ing treated at lo­cal hos­pi­tals. Of the play­ers who sur­vived, goal­keeper Jack­son Foll­mann was re­cov­er­ing from the am­pu­ta­tion of his right leg, doc­tors said.

De­fender He­lio Neto re­mained in in­ten­sive care with se­vere trauma to his skull, tho­rax and lungs.

And fel­low de­fender Alan Ruschel­had had surgery for spinal in­juries.

An­other sur­vivor, Bo­li­vian flight tech­ni­cian Er­win Tu­miri, said he only saved him­self by strict ad­her­ence to se­cu­rity pro­ce­dure, while oth­ers pan­icked.

“Many pas­sen­gers got up from their seats and started yelling,” he told Colom­bia’s Ra­dio Cara­col. “I put the bag be­tween my legs and went into the fe­tal po­si­tion as rec­om­mended.”

By night­fall on Tues­day, res­cuers had re­cov­ered most of the bod­ies of the dead, which were to be repa­tri­ated to Brazil and to Bo­livia, where all the plane’s nineper­son crew were from.

Lo­cals are ac­cus­tomed to planes fly­ing over­head at all hours, but many were dis­turbed by the mas­sive crash noise that in­ter­rupted their sleep and evening tele­vi­sion. “It came over my house, but there was no noise, the en­gine must have gone,” said Nancy Munoz (35), a res­i­dent of the area.

“I thought it was a bomb, be­cause the FARC rebels used to at­tack mil­i­tary in­fra­struc­ture here. Then we heard the res­cuers ar­riv­ing,” said her hus­band Fabian. — Mean­while, Brazil de­clared three days of mourn­ing. Chapecoense’s op­po­nents, Atletico Na­cional of Medellin, asked for the tour­na­ment to be awarded to the Brazil­ians in hon­our of the dead. Fel­low top di­vi­sion Brazil­ian sides also showed sol­i­dar­ity, of­fer­ing loan play­ers to Chapecoense, and urg­ing the na­tional fed­er­a­tion to give it a three-year stay against rel­e­ga­tion while the club got back on its feet.

Global soc­cer greats from Lionel Messi to Pele sent con­do­lences. It was an ap­palling twist to a fairy-tale story for Chapecoense, which rose since 2009 from Brazil’s fourth to top di­vi­sion and was about to play the big­gest match in its his­tory in the first leg of the re­gional cup fi­nal.

Dis­traught fans gath­ered around the team’s Conda sta­dium in Chapeco, a city of about 200 000 peo­ple in south­ern Brazil. — Al Jazeera

Gam­bia’s unique vot­ing sys­tem sees cit­i­zens vote by drop­ping a mar­ble into a coloured drum for their can­di­date. Reuters

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