A chartered aircraft with 81 people onboard crashed, killing 75 people; passengers included a Brazilian first division soccer team heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final, Colombian officials said Tuesday. Six people survived. The plane was due to arrive in Medellin, Colombia, from Bolivia, but suffered an electrical failure before the accident on Monday night. The plane was carrying players, coaches and staff from the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, as well as journalists set to cover the team’s match in the Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.
The team, Chapecoense, was due to play against Medellin’s Atletico Nacional in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday. They were in the middle of a fairytale season by joining Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals after defeating two of Argentina’s fiercest squads.
Chapecoense soccer team’s arena
The team is so modest that its 22,000-seat arena was ruled by tournament organizers as too small to host the final match, which was instead moved to a stadium 300 miles to the north in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.