Tragic Chapecoense Plane Crash


© Alexis Viera/Twitter

Chapoceonse soccer team's last photo taken on plane to Colombia

By: Jordan Drew, Staff Reporter

On November 28th, a plane carrying 77 people crashed in Medellin, Colombia. The 77 passengers on board this plane were players, club staff, and crew for the Brazilian soccer team, called the Chapecoense. Of these 77 people, only 6 survived the tragic plane crash.

The plane was on its way from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Medellin to play against the Colombian club Atlético Nacional, a Colombian soccer club. Unfortunately, the plane crashed in Medellin, 18 miles from their destination. Audio recovered from the plane that was released in Colombia gives light to what may have caused it to crash. The pilot can be heard in the audio saying that the plane had an entire electrical failure, and that they were, “having a fuel problem”. Among the few who survived are Alan Ruschel, Jackson Ragnar Follmann, Hélio Hermito Zampier, flight attendant Ximena Suarez, aircraft mechanic Erwin Tumiri, and journalist Rafael Henzel Valmorbida. One of the team’s goal keepers, Marcos Danilo Padilha was pulled from the wreckage, but unfortunately, he later died due to his injuries.

      The flight was initially scheduled to have 81 passengers, but last minute 4 people decided not to board. One of these people was Gelson Merisio, a state legislator for Santa Catarina, and a huge fan of the Chapecoense. He made clear that he opted out of the flight because of previous work commitments, and he was initially very excited to travel with the team.

      Brazil has declared 3 days of mourning over the loss of their beloved soccer team. Chapecoense fans gathered outside the team’s stadium to lament, and to console one another. In Colombia, 45,000 fans from both sides gathered in the Atanasio stadium, where the two teams were due to face off. Supporters sported white t-shirts and chanted the names of those who died. The Colombian and Brazilian national anthem were played for the distraught supporters. The loss of these players is very disturbing and our heart is out to all the families who lost a loved one in the crash.