The Latest: Plane with 72 passengers crashes in Columbia

Rescue workers search the wreckage of the plane. SOURCE: TELEANTOQUIA
Rescue workers search the wreckage of the plane. SOURCE: TELEANTOQUIA

5:30 a.m.

The head of Colombia’s civil aviation agency says that authorities aren’t ruling out the possibility the chartered flight carrying a Brazilian soccer team ran out of fuel before crashing. But for now, the main line of investigation is a possible electrical failure aboard the aircraft.

Alfredo Bocanegra, speaking from the rescue command center, said that communication with Bolivian aviation officials suggested the plane was experiencing electrical problems.

At the same time, investigators will have to evaluate reported testimony from a female flight attendant who said the plane had run out of fuel.

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5:20 a.m.

The Brazilian soccer confederation has released a statement saying it would wait for more information about the plane crash in Colombia before taking any action regarding local competitions in Brazil.

There is one round left in the Brazilian league, which was won by Palmeiras last weekend. The final round will decide which teams will avoid relegation and which teams will secure spots in international competitions next season.

The second leg of the Brazilian Cup final is scheduled be played Wednesday in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Local club Gremio defeated Atletico Mineiro 3-1 in Belo Horizonte.

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4:40 a.m.

A civilian aviation database website says that the British Aerospace 146 plane that crashed on its approach to the airport in the Colombian city of Medellin made its first flight on March 1999.

Statistics from planespotters.net show that the regional plane has had several owners since.

From 1999 to 2007, it was owned by Mesaba Aviation in the U.S. before it was transferred. The plane has been in the hands of Bolivian airline LAMIA since October 2013.

British Aerospace, which is now known as BAE Systems, says that the first 146 plane took off in 1981 and that just under 400 – including its successor Avro RJ – were built in total in the U.K. through November 2003.

It says around 220 of are still in service in a variety of roles, including aerial firefighting and overnight freight services.

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4:25 a.m.

Colombian police say that five people have survived a plane crash near Medellin’s international airport and the rest of the passengers have been killed.

Gen. Jose Acevedo, head of police in the area surrounding Medellin, provided the information.

A chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including the Brazilian first division Chapecoense soccer team which was heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.

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3:55 a.m.

The vice president of the Brazilian first division soccer team Chapecoense, whose plane crashed in Colombia, says that the Brazilian city where the team is from is in tears.

Ivan Tozzo said that Chapeco, a city of 200,000 residents in southern Brazil, is already in tears after the crash in Colombia, which occurred before Wednesday’s final of Copa Sudamericana.

Tozzo told cable channel SporTV that “we are very sad, gathered here in the locker room of our stadium. We are still waiting for news. All our board is there, our players. We have nothing concrete on their state.”

He said that “There are a lot of people crying in our city, we could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here. We hope there are many survivors, at least that most of them are OK.”

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2:55 a.m.

Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense has issued a brief statement after the plane carrying the team crashed in Colombia.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Chapecoense said “may God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation.”

The team said it would refrain from any further statements until it had fully evaluated the extent of the crash.

A chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including the Chapecoense team which was heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.

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2:40 a.m.

A local mayor in Colombia says that at least three passengers have been rescued alive from the crash site after a plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team went down near Medellin.

Elkin Ospina, mayor of the La Ceja municipality outside Medellin, told Blu Radio that there may be more survivors but that access to the crash site is complicated.

The chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including Brazilian first division soccer team Chapecoense which was heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.

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2:30 a.m.

The South American soccer federation has canceled all activities until further notice as a result of Monday’s crash in Colombia of a plane carrying Brazilian first division team Chapecoense.

The CONMEBOL federation said in a statement that its president, Alejandro Dominguez, is on his way to Medellin.

The first of the two-game Copa Sudamericana final was scheduled to be played Wednesday in Medellin between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional.

The chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including a Brazilian first division soccer team heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.

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2:10 a.m.

Local media in Colombia are reporting that a male passenger going by the name of Alan has arrived in an ambulance to a hospital near Medellin after the plane crash involving a Brazilian first division soccer team.

Blu Radio said the passenger arrived on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and covered in a blanket. He appeared to be alive.

The chartered plane was carrying 81 people, including the Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil. The aircraft had made a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and was on its way to Medellin’s international airport. The crash site is in a mountainous area outside Medellin.

The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

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12:50 a.m.

Medellin’s mayor says that it is possible there are survivors in the plane crash in Colombia carrying players from a Brazilian soccer team.

Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio that “it’s a tragedy of huge proportions.” The mayor on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where the chartered aircraft is believed to have crashed shortly before midnight local time.

He said ambulances and rescuers were on their way. It is not clear what caused the crash.

Medellin’s airport confirmed that the aircraft, which departed from Bolivia, was transporting the Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil, which was scheduled to play the Copa Sudamericana finals against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday in Medellin.

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12:25 a.m.

Authorities are responding to an emergency after an airplane with 72 people on board has crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.

Medellin’s international airport said on its Twitter account that the aircraft had departed from Bolivia.

It’s not clear if there are any survivors. But local media reported that the charter aircraft was carrying members of the soccer team Chapecoense from Brazil, which is scheduled to play Copa Sudamericana finals against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday in Medellin.

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