Brazil de­clares 3 days of mourn­ing for 75 vic­tims

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

miles) from Medellin, Colom­bia’s sec­ond largest city, in an area called Cerro Gordo.

Elkin Ospina, the mayor of the town of La Ceja near the crash site, said the moun­tain­ous ter­rain was some 3,300 me­ters (10,800 feet) above sea level and very dif­fi­cult to ac­cess.

Res­cuers car­ry­ing stretch­ers had to hike for more than half an hour to reach the site.

On its Twit­ter ac­count, the air­port said a plan to use an air force he­li­copter had to be shelved be­cause of bad weather in the area.

Ospina said au­thor­i­ties were on the scene and hos­pi­tals and med­i­cal cen­ters were pre­par­ing to re­ceive the in­jured.

But the bad weather forced the search to be sus­pended in the early hours Tues­day, with plans to re­sume at 6 am (1100 GMT).

Colom­bia’s civil aero­nau­tics agency said it had a team at the air­port in re­sponse to the crash.

Con­mebol, the South Amer­i­can foot­ball con­fed­er­a­tion, mean­while of­fi­cially called off the Copa Su­damer­i­cana fi­nal that was to be played be­tween Chapecoense and Atletico Na­cional.

“All ac­tiv­i­ties of the con­fed­er­a­tion are sus­pended un­til fur­ther no­tice,” Con­mebol said.

Chapecoense and Atletico Na­cional were sup­posed to have faced off in Wed­nes­day’s first leg of the fi­nal of the Copa Su­damer­i­cana, the sec­ond most pres­ti­gious club foot­ball tour­na­ment in South Amer­ica af­ter the Copa Lib­er­ta­dores.

Chapecoense had reached the fi­nal af­ter com­plet­ing a vic­tory on away goals last week over Ar­gen­tinian side San Lorenzo in the semi­fi­nals.

Chapecoense is widely re­garded as one of the min­nows of Brazil­ian club foot­ball, hav­ing been founded rel­a­tively re­cently in 1973 in the city of Chapeco in south­ern Santa Cata­rina state.

Af­ter decades in the lower di­vi­sions, Chapecoense re­turned to Brazil’s top flight Serie A in 2014 for the first time since 1979. The club fin­ished in 14th spot in the 2015 edi­tion of the 20-team cham­pi­onship.

The wreck­age from a plane that crashed into Colom­bian jun­gle with Brazil­ian soc­cer team Chapecoense is seen near Medellin, Colom­bia, on Tues­day. (Reuters)

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