SPORTS: PLANE CARRYING COPA SUDAMERICANA FINALIST CHAPECOENSE CRASHES IN COLOMBIA

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The Brazilian club were en route to the
first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final
but never made it to Medellin because of a
tragic accident, with many injured in
hospital
A plane carrying Brazilian
club Chapecoense to the Copa
Sudamericana final crashed in Colombia
on Monday night, local authorities
confirmed.
“A Lamia aircraft coming from Bolivia with
registration CP2933 RJ 80 had an
accident in Cerro El Gordo, nearby La
Union, Antioquia, with 72 passengers and
nine crew members on board, who were
with the Brazilian team Chapecoense,”
read a statement from Colombian aviation
governing body Aerocivil. “Organisations
are currently attending to the situation and
are taking injured to different medical
facilities in the region.”
According to South American media
reports, emergency crews transported some
of the injured to La Ceja Hospital shortly
after the crash, while Telemedellin reported
that the San Vicente Hospital was
preparing to treat some of those wounded.
There were no deaths confirmed as of
Tuesday morning, while various media
organisations reported different counts of
those taken to the hospital with injuries. A
press release sent out by the Jose Maria
Cordova airport said that authorities were
working to rescue at least six survivors,
while some media reports indicated that 10
people had been taken to hospitals for
treatment.
“There are a lot of survivors,” Kaleth
Gutierrez, a local fire chief, told reporters.
“We can’t say how many but there are a
lot.”
Players Alan Ruschel and Danilo were the
first survivors to arrive at the airport,
according to reports
from RCN and Telemedellin, with the latter
reporting that Ruschel was conscious but
in shock when he got to the hospital.
The plane was inbound from Santa Cruz,
Bolivia, where the team stopped over after
playing a league game against Palmeiras,
who clinched the Brazilian championship
with a victory. Chapecoense made the
Copa Sudamericana final after advancing
past Argentine side San Lorenzo on away
goals. The first leg was set to take place in
Medellin against Atletico Nacional on
Wednesday.
CONMEBOL confirmed that the match will
be postponed.
“The South American Football
Confederation confirms that it has been
notified by Colombian authorities that the
plane on which the
Atletico Chapecoense of Brazil delegation
suffered an accident on its arrival to
Colombia. We’re in contact with the
authorities and we are awaiting for official
updates,” it told the press. “The
CONMEBOL family enormously laments
what has happened.
“All activities of the confederation will
remain suspended until further notice.
“President Alejandro Dominguez is
currently in transit to Medellin.”
The cause of the crash is currently unclear,
with some reports citing poor weather
around Medellin but others blaming a
mechanical issue. According to the airport,
the crash site is currently accessible only
by ground transportation, with weather
conditions prohibiting aerial access. A
Colombian aviation community used its
Facebook page to ask those in the area
who could provide help in Jeep 4×4-
type vehicles to assist in rescue efforts.
Tributes started to come in after the first
reports, with Chapecoense’s opponent,
Atletico Nacional, tweeting: “Nacional
deeply regrets and sympathizes
with Chapecoense because of the accident
that happens and awaits information from
the authorities.” Mexico FA president Decio
de Maria wrote, “My prayers for the
Chapecoense team and everybody who was
aboard their aircraft. My support to their
family and friends.”

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Posted in Sports

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