The Columbia Police and airport officials have confirmed that no fewer than 76 people have reportedly died following a plane crash in the country involving an aircraft conveying 81 passengers including a Brazilian football team, Chapecoense late Monday.
It was earlier revealed that at least five survivors have been reportedly rescued and taken to hospital from the crash site, with Chapecoense defender, Alan Ruschel among them while local reports said that goalkeeper Marcos Danilo Padilha also survived along with an unnamed air stewardess.
Reports from the Columbia civil aviation association’s website revealed that the aircraft which crashed around 10 p.m local time had 72 passengers on board and nine crew members.
The country’s airport authority had reported that poor weather conditions made the crash site accessible only by road, where the plane was scheduled to land.
It was also confirmed that the plane was carrying the soccer team, who were due to play in a final for the South American Cup in Medellin, 245 km (153 miles) from the capital, Bogota, on Wednesday.
The first leg of cup final , South America’s second most important club competition, has now been suspended.
The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) through its president, Alejandro Dominguez, said it was also suspending all activities due to the incident.
“The Conmebol family greatly regrets what happened. All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice,” it said.
Also, Chapecoense had earlier issued a brief statement saying: “May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation.”
The club said it would refrain from any further statements until it had assessed the extent of the crash.
Later the team’s vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, told reporters that “There are a lot of people crying in our city, we could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here.”
The team, from the southern city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.
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