Plane transporting Brazilian soccer team crashes, killing 71

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Joe Demeis, Staff Writer

A plane carrying 77 passengers and crew members crashed into a mountain near Medellin, Columbia on Monday night. Originally, there was said to be 81 people on board, but four of them did not board the plane. According to The Telegraph, there were only 6 survivors out of the 77 on board. Seven were found alive, but one person died while being treated in the hospital.

LAMIA flight 2933 held the entire Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team. They were being transported from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to the Copa Sudamericana finals, one of the most “prestigious” tournaments in South America, in Medellin. The Chapecoense squad was supposed to face Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.

Among the six survivors were three players, two crew members, and one journalist out of the 21 journalists who came to report on the game.

The team has accomplished so much over the past couple of years. According to The New York Times, Chapecoense joined Brazil’s first division in 2014. They hadn’t been apart of the first division since the 1970’s.

The Chapecoense soccer squad debuted in the Copa Sudamericana tournament last year and surprised everyone by making it to the quarterfinals. Nothing can top making it to the finals this year, though. This was their best season yet. It was quite the Cinderella story. They were able to do so well without depending on big name-superstars while being a part of a scrappy, small city of Southern Brazil.

According to theguardian and multiple other sources, the plane crashed because of electric failure and a shortage of fuel. Electrical failure is a result of having no fuel, so a lack of fuel was the main reason for the accident. There was said to be no fuel on impact. Because of the electrical failure, LAMIA flight 2933 lost all radar contact at around 10 p.m. Monday night.

There were dozens of rescuers who worked through the night. They found 25 bodies in the wreckage before the search effort was suspended because of rain.

Plínio David de Nês Filho, the chairman of the board of the club, spoke about the team and the tragic incident to the Globo television channel in Brazil, “Friends of a lifetime were on the flight. When I said goodbye to them yesterday, they said they were going to try to make their dream a reality. That dream came to an end this morning.”