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Plane Carrying 76 Brazilian Soccer Players Crashes Into Columbian Mountain, Killing 71

5 Survivors Including 3 Players, But Most of the Chapecoense Soccer Team is Dead

 

November 28, 2016

Medical staff from the San Juan de Dios hospital transport Brazilian soccer player Alan Ruschel as he arrives in La Ceja in Colombia on Tuesday morning

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Embraer 900 slammed into the mountain at 225 miles an hour, killing seventy-one of 76 passengers died late Monday night. It was on approach to land at the Medellin airport. The plane was chartered by Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, going to play the first of two games for the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

As Brazilian and Colombian rescuers sifted through debris looking for survivors of crash that killed most of the Chapecoense soccer team.

"Very sad news we received this morning," the team's vice president, Ivan Tozzo, told Globonews on Tuesday morning, trying to keep tears from swelling up in his eyes. "We would never expect such a thing. It doesn't seem real. It hasn't hit me yet," mumbled the team executive while giving up trying to wipe the tears.

Among the five survivors are three players (Alan Ruschel, Jackson Follmann and Neto), one journalist and a stewardess for Bolivia's LaMia Airlines. A sixth player, goalie Danilo Padilha, was rescued alive but died on his way to the hospital. In all there were 21 journalists, nine flight crewmembers and 51 Chapecoense team members, including players, staff and executives.

Chapecoense soccer team winning a match last year

According to Colombian authorities, rescue was hindered by the location of the crash, in a dense wooded area with no road access, and a rainstorm which did not allow helicopters to get close to the accident scene.

The Chapecoense team was going to play against Atletico Nacional of Medellin hoping to win their first international title. The team had lost 1-0 to Palmeiras on Sunday, when the São Paulo team won the Brasileirão.

Within hours, condolences from around the world started to pour in to social media, from sports fans and athletes. Spain's Real Madrid and Barcelona players observed a minute's silence for their colleagues during the teams' Tuesday training sessions. According to authorities this may have been one of the airline crashes with the highest number of dead athletes in recent times.

 

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