Plane Carrying Brazilian Football Team To Colombia Crashes

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A plane carrying members of a Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, to Colombia has crashed.

The chartered aircraft carrying 81 people including the 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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The charter aircraft, which took off from Bolivia, was flying over the town of La Union at around 10 pm. when electrical flaws were reported and the plane crashed less than two dozen miles from an airport in northwestern Colombia.

The plane was carrying 81 passengers, which included members of the Brazilian football team. The Colombian authorities said at least five persons has  survived out of the 81 people aboard.

Officials have not said what happened to the plane but did say that the wounded were being transported to assistance centers. An unconfirmed report suggests that at least two members of the team – Alan Ruschel and Danilo – may have survived.

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The sports network, Telemundo Deportes tweeted (in Spanish) that Ruschel was in shock but conscious and talking, and asked to keep his wedding ring and to see his family.

The local soccer club is scheduled to play Copa Sudamerica finals against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.

The team, from the southern city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.

The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for Wednesday but has now been suspended.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said it was suspending “all football activities”.

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Chapecoense had already travelled to Argentina twice, beating Independiente and San Lorenzo, and Colombia once, where they lost to Junior 1-0 but progressed on aggregate in the quarter-finals.