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Authorities say 76 dead, 5 survived Colombian plane crash; Members of Chapecoense football team among survivors

Chapecoense football team

Colombian authorities have confirmed that a plane bound for Medellin, Colombia crashed Tuesday morning. The plane was carrying members of the Chapecoense football team who were scheduled to go against Medellin’s Atletico Nacional for the final of the Copa Sudamericana. All in all, there were 72 passengers and nine crew members onboard the flight.

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The latest reports indicate that of the 81 people in the plane, there were 76 victims of the crash and only 5 survivors. Among the survivors are reportedly three members of the Chapecoense football team, namely Danilo, the team’s 31-year-old goalkeeper, Alan Ruschel and Jackson Follmann.

Five survived Colombian plane crash including members of Chapecoesne football team

“Six people were rescued alive, but unfortunately one died. The rest of the occupants unfortunately died. The tragic toll is 76 victims,” regional police commander Jose Gerardo Acevedo shared with media.

Other passengers of the flight also included 21 journalists who were also going to cover the scheduled match. One of them, Rafael Henzel was the fourth survivor of the ill-fated flight, while a crew member Ximena Suárez was the fifth.

Tributes pour out for Chapecoesne football team

An outpour of sympathy and support from around the sports world has already begun flooding the web. The city of Chapecoense was obviously one of the first to send out a message to its team.

“May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation,” wrote the city in a statement.

The team’s vice-president Ivan Tozzo also shared what could be the mutual feeling in their city at present.

“There are a lot of people crying in our city, we could never imagine this,” stated Tozzo. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here.”

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas of Porto expressed his sympathy via Twitter saying “my condolences on the crash of the plane carrying Chapecoense. A tough moment for football. Be strong and brave.”

Further rescue and recovery efforts are being hampered by bad weather. Although photos of the crash debris have begun surfacing online.

The weather may have also played a part in the crash forcing pilots to declare an emergency between the municipalities of La Ceja and La Union.

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Stay tuned for more updates.

Photo Courtesy: JulianoF1/ Flickr

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