Rbat – A chartered plane carrying 81 people, including Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team and over 20 journalists, crashed in Colombia on Monday evening, killing 75 people.
The team was traveling to Colombia to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against Medellin team Atletico Nacional. This matchup was going to be the biggest in the small club team’s history, since it had only entered Brazil’s top division in 2014.
The first of the two-leg Copa Sudamericana final was scheduled for Wednesday but has now been suspended. Atletico Nacional has asked for Chapecoense to be awarded the cup.
Chairman of the team’s board, Plinio David de Nes Filho, told reporters on Tuesday that Chapecoense dreamt of winning the coveted cup.
“The dream was over this morning,” he said, choking back tears. “Yesterday morning I was saying goodbye to them,” he said. “They told me they were going in search of the dream to make this dream a reality.”
According to Colombian aviation officials, the plane reported electrical problems as it flew near the towns of La Ceja and La Unión. The crash occurred in a mountainous area called Cerro El Gordo near Medellin, officials said.
The plane went down in stormy weather but it is still unclear why the plane crashed. These heavy rains rendered the accident site accessible only by land, hampering rescue efforts.
At least three soccer players, two crew members and one journalist survived, authorities reported.