Colombia plane crash: Brazil’s Chapecó mourns loss of soccer team

Brazil has begun to mourn the loss of the Chapecoense soccer team. 19 of the players were killed yesterday in the deadly plane crash in Colombia. 52 additional people, including flight crew members, sports journalists and the team’s coaches and support and training staff members, were also killed in the crash. Only six people, three players, a sports journalist and two flight crew members, survived.
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A day after the plane crash in Colombia, which claimed the lives of 71 people, several questions are surfacing regarding what caused the deadly tragedy. According to investigators, the fact that the plane did not explode upon impact is unusual and even suspicious.

Today (Wednesday), Colombian news agencies are reporting that one of the flight attendants who survived said that the fuel started to leak a few seconds before the crash. JOL reported yesterday that is believed that one of the pilots was able to open the aircraft’s fuel tank as the plane was going down and release some of the fuel, preventing a massive explosion.

Flight technician Erwin Tumiri, one of the crew members who survived the crash, recalled the dramatic moments before the aircraft hit the ground. Tumiri told the local media outlets that passengers were terrified, got up from their seats and started to scream when the plane started to coming down. 

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Chapecoense fans, yesterday Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“I put the bags in between my legs to form the fetal position, which is recommended for accidents,” said Tumiri. “During the situation, many got up from their seats and they started to scream.” Another survivor, flight attendant Ximena Suarez, said that the lights of the plane went out when the aircraft started to descend.  “I don’t remember more at the moment,” she added.

According to several reports, the pilots sent out distress signals minutes before the crash, apparently due to an electrical failure.

In Chapecó, a city of 200,000 residents whose soccer team had a wonderful season, started to mourn the loss of the 19 team players. In addition to the players, sports journalists, flight crew members and the team’s coaches and support and training staff members were killed in the crash. The team was on its way to play against the Colombian club team Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the South American Cup Finals. The game was scheduled for tonight.


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