Airplane carrying Brazilian pro football players crashes in Colombia

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A plane that left Bolivia with 72 passengers plus flight crew has crashed on its path to Medellin international airport. Aviation authorities said there were reports of at least 10 survivors.

Colombian authorites on Tuesday responded to an emergency after a plane carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real crashed en route to Medellin in Colombia.

Rescue operations at the site were suspended in the early hours of Tuesday morning amid heavy rain, Medellin airport said. Twenty-five bodies have been recovered from the crash site, with reports saying there are at least 10 survivors, including Chapecoense player, Alan Ruschel. There are so far six confirmed survivors.

At least four survivors have reportedly been brought to safety, including Ruschel, and a stewardess, who were taken to a hospital in the town of Le Ceja, local authorities said, quoted in Colombian newspaper El Colombiano’s online edition.

The pilots of the plane were reportedly having problems with the electronics system before the accident, the airport authorities said on their Twitter feed.

The flight was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members, according to authorities.

Medellin’s mayor, Federico Gutierrez, told Blu Radio that there may be more survivors but that access to the crash site is complicated. Aviation authorities added that they can only access the crash site by land due to severe weather conditions.

The crashed aircraft was a British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane operated by Bolivian charter airline Lamia, authorities said. They said the plane had declared an emergency at 10 p.m. Monday (0300 UTC Tuesday) due to an electrical failure.

“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Gutierrez said while traveling to the crash site in a mountainous area outside the Colombian city.

Brazil’s Chapecoense football team had been due to play Atletico Nacional for the Copa Sudamerica finals in Medellin on Wednesday.

ls/kl/jbh (dpa, EFE, AP)

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