Officials say six survivors have been rescued from the wreckage of a chartered plane carrying 81 people, including the squad of a top Brazilian football team, which crashed outside the Colombian city of Medellin.
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The crash occurred amid poor weather conditions as the plane was on its way to the city's international airport, and the country's civil aviation authority said ambulances and emergency workers had arrived at the scene.
Local authorities said there appeared to be survivors, and confirmed the plane was a chartered flight carrying the team of Chapecoense Real for the final of a regional tournament.
The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency at 10pm Monday (0300 GMT) because of an electrical failure.
"It's a tragedy of huge proportions," Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where aircraft crashed.
The aircraft, which made a stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was transporting the first division Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil. The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.
"May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation," the club said in a brief statement on its Facebook page.
South America's soccer federation extended its condolences to the entire Chapecoense community and said its president, Luis Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin. All soccer activities were suspended until further notice, the organisation said in a statement.
Plane carrying 81 people including a Brazilian football team crashesThe IndependentA plane carrying 81 people, including the squad of a top-flight Brazilian football team, has crashed in mountains outside the Colombian city of Medellin. The crash occurred amid poor weather conditions as the plane was on its way to the city's international airport, and the country's civil aviation authority said ambulances and emergency workers had arrived at the scene. Local reports said there were at least six survivors, while authorities confirmed the plane was a chartered flight carrying the team of Chapecoense Real for the final of a regional tournament.
Local media in Colombia are reporting that a male passenger going by the name of Alan has arrived in an ambulance to a hospital near Medellin.
Blu Radio said the passenger arrived on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and covered in a blanket. He appeared to be alive.
The South American football federation has suspended all games and other activities due to the crash.
The federation, CONMEBOL, said its president, Alejandro Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin, near the crash site.
"All federation activities are suspended until further notice," it added in a statement on its website.
Chapecoense had been due to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of Wednesday's Sudamericana final.
All South American football suspended after Brazilian football team in plane crashThe IndependentAll South American football has been suspended until further notice by the South American Football Confederation [Conmebol] after a plane carrying members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense Atletico de Brazil crashed in Colombia, it has been confirmed. Conmebol released a short statement on Tuesday morning to confirm the suspension and express it’s sadness over the incident.
Medellin's mayor has said at least three passengers have been rescued alive.
Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio that there may be more survivors but that access to the crash site is complicated.
MiOriente has published pictures reportedly showing rescue workers at the crash site.
Local media reports two members of the team are alive and have been taken to hospital, along with a flight attendant.
The local mayor has said at least 25 people were killed in the crash.
Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense has issued a brief statement on its Facebook page.
It said: "May God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation."
The team said it would refrain from any further statements until it had fully evaluated the extent of the crash.
A third member of the team has reportedly arrived at hospital alive.
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