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Flight carrying Chapecoense crashes in Colombia

A plane carrying Brazilian club Chapecoense to Colombia for their Copa Sudamericana final first leg against Atletico Nacional has crashed.

The Serie A side were scheduled to play at Medellin’s Estadio Atanasio Girardot on Wednesday.

But the plane, carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed on its way to Medellin from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

Authorities reported the plane declared an emergency at 22:00 local time (03:00 GMT) with apparent power failures.

The plane is understood to have crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union.

In a post on the club’s official Facebook page, Chapecoense said: “Given the conflicting reports emerging from different journalistic sources concerning the crash of the plane carrying the Chapecoense players, the Chapecoense football association through it vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, is refraining from comment and awaiting official announcements from the Colombian air authorities.

“May God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists and the other guests who are with the delegation.”

Mayor of Medellin, Federico Gutierrez, tweeted he was on his way to the scene of “where the plane crashed” and emergency services were in place.

Later, in an interview with Radio BLU, he added: “The most important thing is to save lives and we are focused on that.

“The country is connected with this tragedy and [in] solidarity with the families of the victims,” he added.

Atletico Nacional tweeted: “Nacional regrets deeply and is in solidarity with @chapecoensereal…”

CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, has suspended competition until further notice.

Tue 29 Nov, 2016
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