Plane Carrying Brazilian Soccer Team Chapecoense Crashes in Colombia, Killing 75 of 81 Passengers
Absolutely devastating news out of Colombia this morning. A plane carrying Brazilian first-division soccer team Chapecoense crashed on Monday night, just shy of its destination, killing 75 of 81 passengers.
The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline called LaMia, was carrying the team and over a dozen journalists from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to Medellín, Colombia, for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana finals against Atlético Nacional, which has been scheduled for Wednesday. According to Colombian aviation authorities, the flight crew declared an emergency due to an electrical failure at 10pm local time. It later crashed at the foot of a hill in Colombia’s Antioquia region.
Emergency responders initially found seven survivors, but one of them, Chapecoense goalkeeper Marcos Danilo Padilha, died shortly after being rescued. The remaining six survivors include Chapecoense players Jackson Follman, Alan Ruschel, and Helio Hermito Zampier Neto, as well as flight attendant Ximena Suarez, crew member Erwin Tumiri, and journalist Rafael Valmorbida.
Photos of the wreckage are not for the weak of heart.
Chapecoense has been the biggest story in Brazilian soccer this year. In 2014 the historically small team from the southern Brazilian city of Chapecó reached the top division for the first time in 35 years. A surprisingly strong 2015 campaign earned them a spot in the 2016 Copa Sudamericana, where they embarked on a miraculous run to the finals that captivated the entire soccer-loving nation. But now the fairytale has ended in the most horrific way imaginable.
News of the tragedy has devastated not only Brazil but the entire global soccer community. Atlético Nacional has reportedly asked that Chapecoense be awarded the Copa Sudamericano title.
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) November 29, 2016
Brazilian football is in mourning. It is such a tragic loss. My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/jfoTMUBWtN
— Pelé (@Pele) November 29, 2016
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 29, 2016
— Ronaldinho Gaúcho (@10Ronaldinho) November 29, 2016
— Hull City (@HullCity) November 29, 2016
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) November 29, 2016
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) November 29, 2016
Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of those whose lives were lost in this unspeakable tragedy.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]