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Chapecoense plane crash: 5 deadliest aviation accidents involving sports teams in history

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Chapecoense, Chapecoense Plane Crash, LaMia Airlines, Bolivia
Chapecoense Plane Crash (Photo Courtesy: Policía Nacional de los colombianos/Flickr)

The football world is currently mourning the loss of almost all the entire members of the Brazilian club Chapecoense. 43 members of the club, 19 of which are players, were killed when their airplane crashed in La Union, Colombia.

Chapecoense was heading to Medellin, Colombia to play the first leg of the 2016 Copa Sudamerica Finals. The tragic loss of the club has hit the football world hard, but it is not the deadliest aviation accident involving sports teams in history. Here is SportsRageous’ list of the five deadliest aviation accidents that involved sports teams.

  1. Southern Airways Flight 932 – Marshall University Football Team (November 14, 1970)

The deadliest aviation accident involving sports teams in history happened on Nov. 14, 1970, when Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed near Ceredo, West Virginia. The flight was carrying 75 people in total, 46 of which are players and coaches of the Marshall University Football Team, per the university’s official website.

37 players and nine coaches were killed in the accident along with all other passengers and crew. It was a very unfortunate accident since Marshall University rarely travels by plane. The team was coming from their one and the only plane trip of that season in Greenville, North Carolina.

  1. LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 – Associação Chapecoense de Futebol (November 28, 2016)

Another sad, tragic and recent story is Chapecoense. The Brazilian club was enjoying the best season in its history when LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 crashed due to electrical problems and fuel exhaustion, per BBC News. The accident killed a total of 71 people with 43 members of the club among the casualties.

19 players, along with 17 staff members and 7 board of directors, were killed in the crash. Three of the six survivors are players, but their careers are over. The entire sports world is currently mourning the latest tragedy that was caused by an aviation accident.

  1. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Air Disaster (September 7, 2011)

Professional ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl from Russia’s KHL was going to travel to Minsk, Belarus when their plane ran off the runway and crashed. All of the team’s players and coaching staff (36) and four youth players were killed in the accident.

Pilot error and technical failures were believed to be the cause of the accident. The team chose not to participate in the KHL’s season that year. But they have since re-joined the league and made the playoffs every year since the accident.

  1. Sabena Flight 548 – United States Figure Skating Team (February 15, 1961)

25 members of the US Figure Skating Team died in the crash that killed a total of 73 people. The accident happened near Brussels, Belgium but the flight came from JFK Airport in New York City.

According to USA Today, the accident was so catastrophic that the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships was canceled. The cause of the crash was never determined, but investigators believe that it was due to a possible mechanical failure.

  1. Superga Air Disaster – Torino F.C. (May 4, 1949)

Grande Torino, a historical football team in the 1940s, was dominating the Italian league died in what is called the Superga Air Disaster of 1949. 18 players and five club officials were killed in the crash near the hills of Turin, Italy.

Avio Linee Italiane Fiat G.212CP was coming off Lisbon, Portugal when it crashed near the Basilica of Superga in the hills of Turin. It was a devastating tragedy since most of the team members were the stars of the Italian National Football Team.

Photo Courtesy: Policía Nacional de los colombianos/Flickr

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