An aircraft with 81 people aboard, including Brazilian footballers, crashed in central Colombia, and rescuers are moving survivors from the site, the country’s civil aviation association said on Tuesday.
Reports confirmed that the death toll is now 76 victims. Earlier, six people were rescued alive and taken to the hospital, but unfortunately one died. The Regional police commander, Jose Gerardo Acevedo, confirmed these journalists.
The plane crashed in a mountainous rural area outside of the city of Medellin and heavy rains at one point halted rescue operations.
The Chapecoense football team was among the 72 passengers and 9 crew on board the charter aircraft when it crashed around 10:15 p.m. on Monday. It was not immediately clear how many survived, however.
“Tonight it was reported that a plane coming from Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which should have landed at Jose Maria Cordova airport had gone off course,” a Colombian rescue official, Mauricio Parodi, told reporters.
Rescue teams, from firefighters to disaster management officials, have been pressed into the search for survivors, added Parodi, the director of disaster management for the province of Antioquia.
Poor weather conditions made the crash site accessible only by road, airport authorities at Medellin, where the plane was scheduled to land, said on social network Twitter.
They confirmed the plane was carrying the soccer team, who had been due to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday’s Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.
“Reports say the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by Bolivian charter airline Lamia and carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union shortly before midnight local time (05:00 GMT),” BBC said.
It was the first time the small club from Chapeco had ever reached the final of a major South American club competition but they were underdogs against a club going for a rare double after winning the Copa Libertadores in July.
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Chapecoense were the 21st biggest club in Brazil in terms of revenue, bringing in 46 million reais ($13.5 million) in 2015, according to an annual rich list compiled by Brazilian bank Itau BBA.
The club is based in the city of Chapecó in the state of Santa Catarina. The club was founded in 1973 with the goal of restoring football in the city of Chapecó, and in just four years of existence won their first state title in 1977.
Besides football, the club also has activities in futsal, it has been a state champion twice. In all, the club won four state championships, the last in 2011.