Brazilian Soccer Team’s Plane Crashes In Columbia, Killing 75
Tragedy cuts short the Cinderella story of the Chapecoense.
A horrific plane crash in a mountainous region of Columbia killed several members of Brazil’s Associação Chapecoense de Futebol soccer team, along with many others, early Tuesday morning.
All but six of the 81 passengers on board perished in the accident, which occurred on the way to what would have been the biggest game in the team’s history.
“Chapecoense was one of the most lovely fairy tales,” Martin Mazur, an Argentinian sports journalist, told CNN. “Unlike what happens with the big Brazilian clubs, Chapecoense’s humble story and its magnificent run in the Copa Sudamericana was naturally embraced by Brazilian football fans in general, becoming a fans’ favorite. It was South America’s Cinderella.”
“Nobody could have predicted this macabre ending,” added Mazur.
The six survivors included three players, a flight attendant, an aircraft mechanic, and a journalist. They were taken to a local hospital, and their conditions were not known at press time. Rescue efforts were impeded by thick fog and difficulty reaching the crash site.
— Fredo, FES Bets (@ZFredo_) November 29, 2016
Brazilian President Michel Temer declared three days of national mourning.
Plinio David de Nes Filho, the team’s president – who was not on board due to a last-minute change of plans – described the team as a “family,” telling TV program Bom Dia Brasil, ” There were lifelong friends on this flight and we think it will have been very hard for them to have survived this accident.”
— Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) November 29, 2016
“This wasn’t just a group of people who respected each other professionally,” he said. “It was a family, a group of friends. Everybody laughed so much, even in defeat. There was a great atmosphere, great joy. Yesterday morning, when I said goodbye to them, they said that they were going off to make our dreams come true. We shared this dream with all our emotion. And in the early hours of this morning, that dream came to an end.”
The crash is sadly reminiscent of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster, which killed 23 people, including Manchester United players, staff and journalists.
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