A chartered plane with a Brazilian first division football team, Chapecoense, crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing 71 people, Colombian officials said.
Investigators are examining flight recorders retrieved from LAMIA Flight 2933 to determine what brought down the plane.
The flight had 77 members on board. Players, coaches and invited guests of the Brazilian team Chapecoense were on board. Also, there where 21 journalists.
Of the footballers, only six survived while only one journalist survived the accident. The football team was on its way to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamerica final in Medallin against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.
The Brazilian government has stated it will recognize three days of mourning following the tragedy. The football world and nations have expressed sympathy towards the victims and their families.
The news sent shock waves through the sports world.
British investigators have flown to Colombia to help with efforts to understand what caused the tragedy.
The U.S. government has released a statement, via the National Security Council, saying:
“On behalf of the United States, we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died in today’s tragic crash of LaMia flight 2933 near Medellin, Colombia,” NSC spokesman Ned Price said in the statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the surviving players and staff of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team as well as to all of the others touched by this tragedy. The American people stand with the people of Brazil and Colombia in this difficult moment,” he added.
As air safety officials begin their investigation, the final resting place of the jet’s wreckage may prove to be a central clue in determining why the airplane crashed.
The lack of apparent fire damage among the wreckage of the deadly crash of LAMIA flight 2933 is pointing investigators to consider fuel starvation as a contributing factor to Monday’s crash, said a person familiar with the early inquiry.