Tragedy struck the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense in the night of Nov. 28 as they headed towards what would have been their biggest game yet. According to the authorities, their plane crashed in the Colombian jungle near their destination of the city of Medellin, killing 76 people.
There are at least five survivors, three of whom belong to the team.
The four-engine BAe 146 charter aircraft had split in two, with only the nose and wings recognizable, Reuters reported. About 30 rescuers, police, and military personnel scoured the area for people and bodies.
“Today we are doing a procedure so that the police and the identification authorities give us the space to continue with the search so that we can move onto the second part which is the identification of bodies,” said Carlos Ivan Marquez, Director General of La Union Disaster Risk Management, talking to reporters at the scene.
Chapecoense is from Brazil’s top soccer league. It was set to face Atletico Nacional, a team from Medellin, on Nov. 30 in the Copa Sudamericana final.
“We are working with the foreign ministry to coordinate with countries such as Brazil and Bolivia to move these people who have unfortunately died,” Marquez said.
The cause of the crash is still undetermined. Reports say the aircraft may have suffered electrical failure or run out of fuel.
Brazil held a 3-minute silence to honor the dead.
Featured image: Rescue and forensic teams recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, Colombia, on November 29, 2016. Credit: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images