Chapecoense plane crash: Investigators hunt for clues

Investigators examine plane wreckage in ColombiaImage copyright

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The flight came down in mountains near Medellin, Colombia

Air experts have begun investigating what brought down a plane in Colombia, killing 71 people on board including most of a Brazilian football team.

Chapecoense were flying to the Colombian city of Medellin on Monday for what would have been the biggest match in their history.

Some reports have suggested there was an electrical fault, others that the plane may have run out of fuel.

There has been an outpouring of grief and support from the football world.

  • What we know
  • A team torn apart
  • Goodbye to my friends on board

Just six people of the 77 on board survived. Twenty journalists were among those killed.

Another four people had been due to travel but did not make the flight.

One of the survivors, flight technician Erwin Tumiri, said he was still alive because he followed safety instructions.

“Many stood up and started shouting. I put the suitcases between my legs and assumed the brace position,” he said.

Lack of fuel theory

Both of the doomed flight’s black box recorders have been recovered and are already being examined by experts.

British investigators are to help authorities in Latin America because the plane, a British Aerospace 146, was manufactured in the UK.

The charter flight crashed late on Monday in bad weather, coming down in a mountainous area on the approach to Medellin.

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The flight’s black boxes have been retrieved

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There have been tributes from across the football world, like here at this Hull-Newcastle game in the UK

The pilot reported an electrical fault, but authorities are also considering the possibility that the plane ran out of fuel.

A Colombian military sources told the AFP agency: “It is very suspicious that despite the impact there was no explosion. That reinforces the theory of the lack of fuel.”

Brazil has begun three days of official mourning while thousands in Chapecoense’s home city of Chapeco have held a vigil.

The team had been enjoying the most successful period in its history, reaching Brazil’s top division for the first time in 2014.

Media captionJulia Caneiro: The stadium is now a venue for collective mourning

They were due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana tournament against Colombian team Atletico Nacional later on Wednesday. Their opponents have since offered to concede the game and invited fans to come to the stadium for a vigil instead.

Moments before the flight took off, Mauro Stumpf from the team’s coaching staff said he hoped the airline brought them “good luck” – as when the team flew with the same company for the quarter-finals.

Earlier this month, the same plane flew Argentina’s national football team to a World Cup qualifier.

In other tributes, Brazilian first division football teams have offered to lend players to Chapecoense free of charge for the 2017 season, and asked the league to protect the club from relegation for the next three years.