Aircraft carrying 81 passengers including Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia
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Aircraft carrying 81 passengers including Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia

Mfonobong Akpan

A charter aircraft carrying 72 passengers and 9 crew members, including the Brazilian Chapecoense soccer team, crashed around 10:15 p.m. on Monday on its approach to the city of Medellin in Colombia.

Aviation authorities said there are reports of at least six survivors. The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency at 10 p.m. Monday (0300 GMT) because of an electrical failure.

Authorities confirmed the plane was carrying the soccer team, who had been due to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday’s Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) said it was suspending “all activities”.

Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez described it as “a tragedy of huge proportions”.

“The Conmebol family greatly regrets what happened. All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice,” it said.

Chapecoense were the 21st biggest club in Brazil in terms of revenue, bringing in 46 million reais ($13.5 million) in 2015, according to an annual rich list compiled by Brazilian bank Itau BBA.

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