Sun Dec 04 14:18:54 SAST 2016

Plane crashes in Colombia with 81 onboard, including Brazil footballers

AFP | 2016-11-29 08:46:49.0
Head coach Caio Junior of Chapecoense celebrates with his players after their match against San Lorenzo in the Copa Sudamericana at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, November 23, 2016. An aircraft with 81 people aboard, including Brazilian football team Chapecoense, crashed in central Colombia, the country's civil aviation association said on its website on November 29, 2016.
Image by: PAULO WHITAKER / REUTERS

A plane carrying 81 people, including members of a Brazilian football team, crashed late Monday near the Colombian city of Medellin, officials said.

The airport that serves Medellin said that among the 72 passengers and nine crew were members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia's Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals.

"Confirmed, the aircraft license number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors," the Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport said on its Twitter account.

The LAMIA aircraft was flying from Bolivia to Medellin when it crashed in an area called Cerro Gordo about 50 kilometers from the city, Colombia's second largest.

"It appears that the plane ran out of fuel," Elkin Ospina, the mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja, told AFP.

He said authorities were on the scene and hospitals and medical centers were preparing to receive the injured.

On its Twitter account, the Medellin airport said the crash site could only be reached overland because of bad weather in the area.

Colombia's civil aeronautics agency said it had a team at the airport in response to the crash.

Conmebol, the South American football confederation, meanwhile officially called off the South American Cup final that was to be played between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional.

"All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice," Conmebol said.

Atletico Nacional said on its Twitter account it "profoundly laments and expresses solidarity with @chapelcoensereal for the accident that occurred."

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