A chartered plane carrying members of a champion Brazilian soccer team crashed on the outskirts of Medellín, Colombia, killing nearly all 81 passengers onboard, officials said on Tuesday. Six people survived the crash, including three players, a journalist and two crew members, but one died a short time later, according to The New York Times.
Colombia’s civilian aviation authority said that the plane declared an emergency between La Ceja and La Union, and the crash occurred in a mountainous region called Cerro El Gordo near Medellin.
Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team was traveling from Bolivia to Colombia to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana tournament when the plane crashed on Monday night, around 10 pm. More than 20 journalists were also onboard, hoping to cover “a heartwarming chapter” in the impressive success story of a scrappy team of “unlikely champions,” reports CNN.
It is not clear what caused the British Aerospace 146 to go down, but heavy rains and thunderstorms hit Colombia around the time of the crash. Rescue workers are still going through the debris.
The South American soccer federation has canceled all games until further notice.