Brazilian team Chapecoense among those on board crashed plane

Authorities name survivors after plane with more than 80 people on board went down during flight from Bolivia to Medellin

Police in Colombia have said 76 people were killed when a plane carrying members of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense crashed in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Initial reports said there were six survivors, including players and a travelling journalist, but police said one person had died in hospital. The plane was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members.

Chapecoense were flying to play a Copa Sudamerica finals match against Atltico Nacional on Wednesday in Medellin.

The Brazilian president, Michel Temer, declared three days of national mourning and offered his condolences to the friends and families of those on the plane in a series of tweets.

Michel Temer (@MichelTemer)

Nesta hora triste que a tragdia se abate sobre dezenas de famlias brasileiras, expresso minha solidariedade.

November 29, 2016

I express my solidarity at this sad time when dozens of Brazilian families have been affected by tragedy, he wrote.

We are offering every form of help and assistance that we can to the families. The air force and foreign ministry have been put to work. The government will do everything possible to relieve the pain of these friends and families of Brazilian sport and journalism.

Medellins mayor, Federico Gutierrez, described the crash, close to the town of Cerro Gordo, as a tragedy of huge proportions.

Site of plane crash in Colombia

Bad weather was reported over the crash site and the search was later called off as heavy fog prevented rescue helicopters from landing.

The plane a British Aerospace 146 short-haul aircraft is believed to have started its journey in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 3.35pm local time. It made a stop in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a bustling economic hub in eastern Bolivia, later that day before setting off for Colombia.

Martin Mazur (@martinmazur)

This was the plane that crashed in Colombia, used to transport Argentina national team earlier this month (photo: @BriEmmanuel_U )

November 29, 2016

A statement from Jos Maria Crdova airport in Medellin said that at 10pm a plane travelling from Santa Cruz had declared an emergency because of electrical failures between the municipalities of La Ceja and La Unin in Colombia.

At the moment we know that the disaster happened in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Unin and that there were 72 passengers and nine crew aboard, including the football team Chapocoense Real. There are reported to be six survivors, the statement read.

Colombias El Tiempo newspaper said there were at least 22 players from the squad on board. It reported that a 23rd player, whom the newspaper did not name, had been supposed to travel but did not. There were also 22 football journalists from Brazil on the flight.

The survivors were named by the Colombian disaster management agency as Alan Luciano Ruschel, Marcos Danilo Padilha and Jacson Ragnar Follmann. Passengers Rafael Correa Gobbato and Ximena Suarez also survived.

Amanda Ruschel, who is married to Alan Ruschel, the first player to be taken to hospital, said in an Instagram post that her husband was in a stable condition. Thank God Alan is in the hospital, stable. We are praying for all of those who were not yet rescued and offer our support to all their relatives, she wrote.

As news of the crash circulated across South America, football fans and clubs paid tribute on Twitter and Facebook.

Flamengo (@Flamengo)

Fora, @ChapecoenseReal! Unidos em um s corao! O Flamengo e sua Nao esto juntos contigo! #ForaChape

November 29, 2016

Some fans posted messages under what appears to be the last video of Chapecoenses players before the accident on the clubs Facebook page. I am from Rio de Janeiro and I am praying for you. May God and Our Lady send their angels to take care of you all, wrote one.

Chapecoense, based in the city of Chapec in the state of Santa Catarina, play in Brazils premier division, Srie A. The club was founded in 1973 and first won promotion to the top flight in 2014.

The Dirio Catarinense newspaper, which covers Santa Catarina, said there was confusion and anguish among those linked to the club in Chapec, a small city of about 200,000 residents.
Cissa Soletti, who works for Chapecoenses marketing department, told the newspaper it was telling staff to gather at the clubs HQ. The mayor of Chapec, Luciano Buligon, who was due to fly to Colombia for the match, said he knew nothing beyond the fact there were some survivors.

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