While waiting for their flight to take off, the players of Chapecoense shared a message of joy with their fans, completely unaware of the tragedy about to unfold. The Brazilian soccer team’s plane would crash on Nov. 28, killing almost everyone on board. Click to watch their final video.
The Chapecoense de Brasil soccer team had no cares in the world as they boarded their flight to Medellin, Colombia. Why should they? It was supposed to be the happiest day in the club’s history, as they had made it to the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. The team was “celebrating life,” according to a twitter user who shared the video, unbeknownst of the horrible fate that awaited them.
The plane, a British Aerospace 146, left Bolivia en route to Colombia, as Chapecoense was set to face Atletico Nacional in the tournament’s finale. Along with the squad, there were 21 journalists on board. Sometime around midnight, local time, the plane lost contact with ground controllers. Heavy rain interfered with rescue efforts and the exact cause of the crash is unknown at the time. What is known is that the club’s fans and those players who weren’t on the flight are devastated over this tragedy.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) November 29, 2016
— Kiran Chada (@moneybizines) November 29, 2016
Colombia’s civilian aviation authority has confirmed the names of the six people who somehow managed to survive this horrible plane crash. Among those listed are three players – defenders Alan Luciano Rushel, 27, and Helio Hermito Zampier, 31, along with goalie Jackson Ragnar Follman, according to The Guardian. The other three survivors are crewmembers Ximena Suarez, Erwin Turmiri and Rafael Valmorbida, a journalist.
Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, 76, has declared three days of national mourning, as the country tries to mend its broken heart. Chapecoense was a small club, known for being a perfect model of financial restraint and ”common sense,” according Al Jazeera.
Formed in the 1970s, Chapecoense made its way up the ranks of Brazilian soccer, qualifying to play in Serie A, the country’s top-tier league, in 2014. Making the Copa Sudamericana finale was the club’s biggest triumph, and they were the first team from the Santa Catarina region to qualify for an international final. CONMEBOL, the South American football federation, has cancelled all activities until further notice.
Our thoughts continue to go out to the families, friends and fans of all those involved in this horrible tragedy.