Colombia plane crash: What we know and don't about the doomed flight
The charter flight from the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz reported "electrical failures" around 10pm Monday. Soon after, the plane crashed just short of its destination, the Medellin international airport in Colombia
The charter flight from the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz reported "electrical failures" around 10pm Monday. Soon after, the plane crashed just short of its destination, the Medellin international airport in Colombia. The plane broke apart on impact in the remote mountains of Cerro Gordo, leaving the shattered white fuselage plastered on a hillside. The plane's two black boxes have been found. Officials did not immediately say how long it would take to analyse their contents. A Colombian military source said plane did not explode on impact, raising suspicions it had run out of fuel when it crashed. The mountainous terrain is very difficult to access, a local official said. Rescuers had to hike for more than half an hour to reach the site.
How many died?
Colombia's disaster management agency said 71 people were killed. It lowered an initial death toll of 75 given by the civil aviation authority after it emerged that four people on the passenger manifest had not boarded the plane. Six people survived: three players, two crew members and a journalist. The survivors are being treated in hospital in the city itself.
What was the flight's history?
The British Aerospace 146 airliner entered into operation in 1999, said a spokesman for the manufacturer. The four-engine jet had been used by two other airlines before being sold to Bolivian charter company LAMIA, which operated the flight. Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending investigators to Colombia along with representatives of the plane's manufacturer BAE Systems to help with investigations. The same plane was used two weeks ago to fly the Argentine national football team — with superstar Lionel Messi on board — to San Juan, Argentina for a World Cup qualifying match, according to aviation specialist tracking sites. The team flew from Belo Horizonte to Ezeiza.
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