A chartered plane carrying 81 people, including top Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, has crashed on its approach to Medellin, Colombia, officials say.
Reports say there are 25 dead and six survivors.
The chartered aircraft, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense soccer team, airport officials said.
The team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Colombian team Atletico Nacional.
The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for November 30, but has now been suspended.
Image source Getty Images
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was suspending “all activities”.
Chapecoense issued a brief statement saying: “May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation.”
It said it would refrain from any further statements until it had assessed the extent of the crash.
Reports suggest that at least two members of the team – Alan Ruschel and Danilo – may have survived.
The sports network Telemundo Deportes tweeted that Alan Ruschel was in shock but conscious and talking, and asked to keep his wedding ring and to see his family.
The mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja confirmed that a 25-year-old player was among the survivors.
He said that 25 people were known to have died.
The team, from the southern city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.
Reports say the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by Bolivian charter airline Lamia and carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union shortly before midnight local time.
According to an airport press release, it was reporting an electrical fault to the control tower.
Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez described it as “a tragedy of huge proportions”.
The Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport, which serves Medellin, posted on its Twitter account: “Confirmed, the aircraft licence number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors.”
The airport later said in a statement that “all possible aid was being mobilized because six survivors are being reported”.
Poor weather has meant that the crash site, in a mountainous area, is only accessible by land.
However, there was no fire on impact, which has given rescuers hope that more survivors may be found.
CONMEBOL said in a statement that its president, Alejandro Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin.
Griselda Blanco, a ruthless drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine” who was jailed in the U.S. for three chilling murders, has been shot dead by a motorcycle-riding hitman.
Griselda Blanco, 69, was believed to have ordered dozens of executions during the notorious “cocaine cowboys” era of the 1970s and 80s in Miami.
In a grim irony, the mode of her killing was eerily similar to the brutal drive-by killings she herself introduced to slaughter her enemies.
Although she was suspected of murdering many more, the Colombian was eventually convicted of three killings in 1985, including that of a two-year-old boy, for which she served nearly 20 years behind bars.
In 2004, Griselda Blanco was deported to her native country and maintained a low profile in her hometown of Medellin.
According to Columbian press reports, Griselda Blanco was walking out of a butcher’s shop yesterday when two gunmen on motorbikes pulled up before one pumped two bullets into her head.
Griselda Blanco was believed to have ordered dozens of executions during the notorious “cocaine cowboys” era of the 1970s and 80s in Miami
For a woman who had been credited with inventing the notion of a “motorcycle assassin”, the manner of her death came as no surprise to many, it was reported in The Miami Herald.
Nelson Andreu, a former Miami homicide detective who had investigated her, said: “It’s surprising to all of us that she had not been killed sooner because she made a lot of enemies.
“When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score.”
Brought up in the slums of Medellin, Griselda Blanco went from a simple pickpocket to command an empire that shipped an estimated 3,400 lbs of cocaine a month.
Griselda Blanco also symbolized the blood-soaked era of the 1970s and 80s when gangs would ambush their rivals in public, leading to her cartel being dubbed the “Cocaine Cowboys”.
She ran the empire with three of her sons, two of whom were later assassinated in Columbia, while three of her husbands have also been killed in drug-related violence.
Known for her flamboyant lifestyle, Griselda Blanco named one of her sons Michael Corleone in tribute to The Godfather movies.
Griselda Blanco’s exploits were also popularized in the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which explored the rise of the drug in Miami during the 1970s and 80s which inspired the films Scarface and Miami Vice.
Interviewees argue that Griselda Blanco played a major role in the history of the drug trade in the city and other areas across America.
Detectives believe Griselda Blanco was behind at least 40 murders and maybe even as many as 240, but could only link her to three.
Two of them, drug dealers Alfredo and Grizel Lorenzo, were shot at their South Miami house after failing to pay $250,000 for 5 kg of cocaine.
Griselda Blanco was also convicted of ordering a shooting that led to the death of two-year-old Johnny Castro, who was shot twice in the head as he drove in the car with his father, Jesus “Chucho” Castro.
She was fully expected to end up on Florida’s Death Row.
But she was able to cut a plea deal after the prosecution’s case suffered a major setback when a chief witness was caught engaging in phone sex with secretaries from the attorney’s office.
Griselda Blanco later entered into a bargain with new prosecutors and was given three 20-year sentences in 1985. She only served a third of that time.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.