Chapecoense is a soccer club that is part of the Brazilian Serie A League, currently standing at rank nine. Founded in 1973, it was something of a minor team that seemed to only be there to fill the team listings, but has suddenly exhibited a vigorous drive that saw it progress in the rank tables through the years in what has been described as a soccer Cinderella story. At the latest development game-wise.
Chapecoense was participating in the South American Cup and was in fact to play the first leg of the Finals this Wednesday November 30 against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. To that end they have boarded a flight to get to their game on time.
From reports gathered by CNN, they may not have made it. That aircraft carrying Chapecoense, who were among its 72 passengers serviced by 9 flight crew, was described as having been in an accident somewhere in Colombia’s city of Rionegro, according to their civil aviation authority. Radio transmissions have it that the flight crew declared an in-flight emergency as the plane passed between La Ceja and La Union municipalities, after taking off from Viru Viru Airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia at 6:18 in the evening local time.
No other information has been revealed as to the passenger aircraft’s fate, save that there were so far six survivors counted who were being prepared for transport to hospitals at Medellin. The city mayor Federico Gutierez has posted on his Twitter account that he was travelling to the accident location in order to oversee the rescue efforts. His tweet said, "The important thing here seeing that there might be survivors, it's saving lives. That's first and foremost. We're here supporting them on this very very sad story. They have our solidarity, so do their families, their friends, their countries."
A look at satellite images of the region over the past 12 hours indicated the presence of both scattered rain-showers and thunderstorms though it has been determined by CNN weather experts that they were not sever enough to have damaged the plane and cause its accident, instead suspecting possible heavy turbulence. Colombia CAA director Alfredo Bocanegra is insistent on terming what had happened as simply an accident and not a plane crash, although he refuses to disclose further details.
Speaking of the weather, thanks to the rain the only reliable access to the accident site was said to be by a land route, as a planned aerial recon of the location by the Colombian Air Force was called off on account of it. Atletico Nacional meanwhile expressed regrets at not being able to meet Chapecoense on the pitch on their own Twitter account, adding that they are “in solidarity with Chapecoense for the accident that occurred is awaiting for more information from the authorities”.
Photo Credit to http://edition.cnn.com/