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Football team’s plane crashed after skipping refuel stop: report

The plane that crashed in Colombia killing 71 people including Brazilian footballers had skipped a scheduled refueling stop, media quoted a representative of the Bolivian airline as saying Wednesday.

“The plane should have refueled in Bogota,” but instead bypassed the Colombian capital and headed straight for its destination Medellin, Gustavo Vargas, a representative of airline LAMIA, was quoted as saying in Bolivian newspaper Pagina Siete.

“The pilot was the one who took the decision not to enter (into Bogota for refueling), because he thought the fuel would last.”

Colombian authorities are investigating what made the plane crash in the mountains of northwest Colombia on Monday night.

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 23, 2016 shows Brazil's Chapecoense players posing for pictures during their 2016 Copa Sudamericana semifinal second leg football match against Argentina's San Lorenzo  held at Arena Conda stadium, in Chapeco, Brazil. A plane carrying 81 people, including members of a Brazilian football team, crashed late on November 28, 2016 near the Colombian city of Medellin, officials said. The airport that serves Medellin said that among the 72 passengers and nine crew were members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia's Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals.    / AFP PHOTO

The crash killed 71 people including most of the Chapecoense football team from Brazil. Six people including three players miraculously survived.

Announcing the disaster on Monday night, the aviation authority said the plane reported electrical problems just before the crash.

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

Brazilian media said the plane’s fuel capacity may have been inferior to the amount required for the distance of its journey from Santa Cruz in Bolivia to Medellin.

Colombian media, citing investigators, said the plane may have had to wait for another flight to touch down in Medellin before it could land.

Colombian broadcaster W Radio aired a recording of what it said was the captain of another aircraft who said he had heard the pilot of the doomed plane over the radio reporting fuel problems followed by an electrical failure.

British, Bolivian and Brazilian investigators headed to Colombia to help with the probe, authorities said.


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