75 People Dead After Plane Carrying Brazilian Soccer Team Crashes

For those of you who haven’t yet seen, there was a pretty major plane crash last night, involving an Avro RJ85, which was built in 1999. The plane was operated by charter airline LAMIA, and was carrying a Brazilian soccer team from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to Medellin, Colombia.

The plane lost radar contact at ~15,500 feet, about 30 kilometers from their arrival airport of Medellin (the airport has an altitude of about 7,000 above sea level).

The plane had a total of 81 people onboard (72 passengers, including soccer players and journalists, and nine crewmembers), and all but six people died.

The pilots had declared an emergency shortly before the plane crashed, allegedly due to an electrical problem. Rumor has it that the plane may have been low on fuel as well. While the weather wasn’t great, the cause of this obviously goes beyond that.

Any plane crash is terribly tragic, but the story behind this one is heartbreaking, as the team was heading to the South American Cup finals, after having performed better than they ever had before. Per CNN:

Chapecoense was set to play the Colombian club team Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the South American Cup finals Wednesday.

The team, which is ninth in Brazil’s Serie A league, has surprised many with its performance in the tournament this year — ESPNFC billed its semifinal contest as a David versus Goliath match.

“It’s a Cinderella football story. They’ve only been in the top division in Brazil for the last couple of years, and they’ve reached the Copa Sudamericana final,” Keir Radnedge of World Soccer magazine told CNN. “What they have achieved in the last couple of years was just amazing.”

Per the team’s Facebook page, here’s a video of them getting on their flight departing Sao Paulo, not long before:

My thoughts are with the families and friends of everyone onboard, and here’s to hoping they find out what happened soon, so that it can be prevented in the future.

Comments

  1. This is so sad. Literally minutes before the news broke out, I was talking to friends about meeting up to watch the soccer final on Wednesday.

  2. @Dave the Paraguayan pilot actually dumped the fuel before the crash, which likely saved the lives of the six survivors. Huge tragedy.

  3. Very very sad news!!!! I am a huge soccer fan and have followed the story if this team very close since they were an example of a well managed organization and got where they were by their own merits.

  4. This is story is extremely heartbreaking, and it would be just as heartbreaking even if the people who died were not famous soccer players.

  5. @Justin I thought that the Avro RJ85 Cannot dump fuel at all. So to me its more fuel starvation here.

    The distance of the flight they took really reaches the maximum range this aircraft can fly.

    It will be very interesting to find out what happened here.

    But still, very sad for everyone.

  6. Less than two weeks ago was planning out my trip to TNR and JNB. SAA flies direct TNR-JNB on an RJ85, and having never heard of the type, I looked up incidents. Nothing significant prior to this, but a couple of fuel emergencies and engine failures.

  7. This is a very very sad news. Stars from the soccer team got dead and it’s true , these soccer players were not well known by name but they could be the future’s star.

  8. @Joe the RJ85 is descended (no pun intended) from the British Aerospace BAe 146. It’s chief performance highlight is being able to operate from airports with short runways while still being reasonably economical for the operator.

    Its safety record is very good, with the proviso that it’s operated safely by the carrier, which should go without saying.

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