The Brazilian club was en route to the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final but never made it to Medellin because of a tragic accident, according to authorities.
A plane carrying Brazilian club Chapecoense to the Copa Sudamericana final has crashed in Colombia on Monday night, according to Colombian authorities.
“A Lamia aircraft coming from Bolivia with registration CP2933 RJ 80 had an accident in Cerro El Gordo, nearby La Union, Antioquia with 72 passengers and nine crew members on board, who were with the Brazilian team Chapecoense,” a news release Monday from Colombian aviation governing body Aerocivil read. “Organizations are currently attending to the situation and are taking injured to different medical facilities in the region.”
According to South American media reports, emergency crews transported injured to Le Ceja Hospital shortly after the crash. Telemedellin reported late Monday that the San Vicente Hospital also is preparing to treat some of those wounded in the crash.
There have been were no deaths confirmed late Monday, while various media organizations reported different counts of those taken to the hospital with injuries. A press release sent out by the Jose Maria Cordova airport said authorities were working to rescue at least six survivors, while some media reports indicated 10 people had been taken to hospitals for treatment.
The plane was inbound from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where the team stopped over after playing a league game against Palmeiras, which clinched the Brazilian championship with a victory. Chapecoense made the Copa Sudamericana final after advancing past Argentine side San Lorenzo on away goals. The first leg was set to take place in Medellin against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.
The cause of the crash is currently unclear, with some reports citing poor weather around Medellin but others blaming a mechanical issue. According to the airport, the crash site is currently accessible only by ground transportation, with weather conditions prohibiting aerial access. A Colombian avaition community used its Facebook page to ask those in the area who could provide help in Jeep 4×4-type vehicles to assist in resuce efforts