By Geoffrey Short
A plane carrying a Brazilian soccer club team crashed Monday night outside of Medellin, Colombia, leaving 75 passengers dead. At least six people are believed to have survived the crash and Colombian rescue teams are currently attempting to find more survivors but have been hindered by inclement weather in the region.
The team, Chapecoense, was flying from Bolivia to Medellin in order to play Colombian club Atletico Nacional in the first of two games in the finals of Copa Sudamericana, the second biggest international tournament in South America.
The team was accompanied by guests and 20 journalists who were set to cover the match for various news outlets across the continent. Three players, two journalists and a crew member survived the crash.
Scattered thunderstorms were present in Colombia at the time of the crash, but none in the immediate area of the flight path, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.
The flight departed from Bolivia’s Viru Viru airport at 8:18 p.m. local time and an emergency signal was dispatched at around 10 p.m. because of an electrical failure.
It is unknown what caused the plane to go down.
Chapecoense was in the midst of a miraculous title run this season, making it to the Copa Sudamericano finals after being promoted to the top flight of Brazilian soccer in 2014. It had not previously played in Brazil’s best league since the 1970s and was playing in the country’s fourth level as recently as 2009.
The club was scheduled to host the second leg of the finals against Atletico Nacional 300 miles north of its own stadium because Copa Sudamericano officials had deemed the venue too small.
It has not been determined what the tournament organizers will do to conclude the tournament.