UPDATE 11/29 4:51 p.m. ET: According to the Associated Press, Colombian authorities now say 77 people were on the plane, not 81, because four people didn’t board the flight. The death toll is currently 71 and includes 20 of the 21 journalists who were traveling with the team. Journalist Rafael Valmorbida of Radio Oeste Capital is one of six survivors, according to the AP.
Original story continues below:
A plane carrying a Brazilian first division soccer team crashed in Medellín, Colombia, on Monday, November 28, killing at least 75 out of the 81 people on board, CNN reports.
The Chapecoense team was traveling from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to play in the final game of the Copa Sudamericana tournament when the aircraft crashed around 10 p.m. local time. Twenty-one journalists from outlets such as Fox Latin America and the Globo television network were also on board.
Only six people survived out of the 72 passengers and nine crew members on board. Per CNN, three soccer players — including Alan Luciano Ruschel and Jackson Ragnar Follman — two crew members and one journalist are among the survivors. No other information has been provided about the others.
Authorities tell the New York Times that the plane had reported electrical problems and the pilot said there was an emergency before air traffic controllers lost contact. The South American Football Confederation president is now en route to Medellín.
Brazilian President Michel Temer reacted to the news via Twitter on Tuesday, stating that there will be a three-day mourning period in honor of the victims.
No sólo es triste para el fútbol, es triste para todo el mundo. No sólo se fueron jugadores, se fueron padres, hijos y hermanos. Qué jodido. pic.twitter.com/9raute5Avz
— Invictos (@InvictosSomos) November 29, 2016
According to the Associated Press, a video on the team’s Facebook page shows the athletes getting ready to take flight from Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport.
“This morning I said goodbye to them and they told me they were going after the dream, turning that dream into reality,” Plínio David de Nes Filho, chairman of the Chapecoense club, told reporters. “The dream was over early this morning.”
Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez also spoke out about the incident. “What was supposed to be a celebration has turned into a tragedy,” he said, via the AP.
Story is still developing.
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