Police in Colombia have reported that 76 people were killed when a plane carrying members of the Brazilian football side Chapecoense crashed on Tuesday morning. Despite initial reports confirming that six survivors were found, one, unfortunately, passed away at the hospital. The plane was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members.
The club was travelling to Medellin to play the Copa Sudamerica finals against Atletico Nacional. Though survivors were taken to local hospitals, bad weather prevented the rescue helicopters from landing at the crash site. The search was called off for a while in hopes that the weather would clear up.
José Maria Córdova airport in Medellin released a statement in light of the events that have occurred. “At the moment we know that the disaster happened in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Unión and that there were 72 passengers and nine crew aboard, including the football team Chapecoense. There are reported to be six survivors,” the statement read.
Atletico Nacional, their opponents in the club's next fixture, have tweeted saying that they are "profoundly sorry" and "stand in solidarity" with the club after the tragic accident.
The five who have survived are players Danilo, Jackson Follman and Alan Rushel, along with journalist Rafael Henzel and crew member Ximena Suarez. One of the survivors was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead.
21 journalists were on board alongside eight Chapacoense executives and three guests of the club.
Colombia's El Tiempo newspaper stated that there were at least 22 players from the squad on board. A reported 23rd player, who has not been named, was supposed to travel but did not.
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Amanda Ruschel, the wife of survivor Alan Ruschel, had confirmed that he was the first player to taken to the hospital. She took to social media app, Instagram, to confirm to her followers and fans that her husband was safe. “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. This is a complicated, difficult situation. Only God himself can give us strength. Thank you, God.”
Spanish legend Iker Casillas, who currently plays for Portuguese club Porto, is among the many people who have expressed their deepest sympathies. “My condolences on the crash of the plane carrying Chapecoense. A tough moment for football. Be strong and brave,” he wrote on Twitter.
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