A charter plane carrying the Brazilian soccer team, Chapecoense Real, crashed near Medellin, Columbia Monday night. The plane was on its way to the finals of the Sudamericana Cup, sources said.
The crash took the lives of all but six of the 77 people on-board the chartered aircraft.
As told by Colombian officials, the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane sent out a Mayday just before 10 p.m. (0300 hours GMT) on Monday.
What caused the fatal crash?
“There’s no fuel”, “help us” and “we’re going down” have been said to be the final words of the plane’s pilot Miguel Alejandro Quiroga Murakami.
Aviation authorities are inspecting the black box recovered from the site. Preliminary study shows electrical failure as the alleged reason for the crash.
As told by Metro in a report, the plane’s fuselage was broken into two, while the nose of the plane faced downward into a steep valley.
“We can’t rule out anything. The investigation is ongoing and we’re going to await the results,” said Gustavo Vargas, president of the Bolivian airlines.
“What was supposed to be a celebration has turned into a tragedy,” said Medellin mayor Federico Gutierrez.
“May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation,” the club stated via a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The Crash Site
Meanwhile, rescue workers who were working through the night saw a ray of hope when the first three people were pulled out alive from the wreckage.
Their joy was short lived, however. The weather soon turned hostile, with heavy fog and torrential rains, making it difficult to reach the crash site.
Bodies of victims that laid scattered across the murky hillside were collected in white bags around daybreak. Several Black Hawk helicopters were deployed in the area which carried the bodies away from the Andes terrain.
As reported by The Telegraph, the aircraft was on its way from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, transporting the Chapecoense team for the first match of a two-game Copa Sudamericana scheduled for Wednesday.
The Chapecoense were due to face the Atletico Nacional of Medellin.