After earning their spot in the Copa Sudamericana finals, an international competition for South American soccer, a plane carrying the members of the Chapecoense Brazilian soccer team crashed in the mountains near Medellin, Colombia on Tuesday Nov. 28. According to authorities the plane ran out of fuel as well as had an electric failure.
Soon after, 72 of the 81 passengers on board were presumed dead. A total of 6 people survived, 3 players, 2 crew members, and a journalist who was accompanying the team.
“This is a relatively small city, so everyone knows somebody who was on the plane,” Roberto Panarotta, a professor of media studies in Chapeco said. “Everyone is shocked and nobody really knows how to react. Nothing like this has ever happened here.” Panarotta lost a childhood friend in the crash, who was a member of the coaching staff.
As family and friends mourn their losses in prayer, Brazilian President Michel Temer declared 3 days of national mourning and braced for a series of funerals. Fans gathered in the Chapecoense stadium where they sang the team’s praises and the names of the fallen heros while relatives and coaches joined hands on the field.
Meanwhile, in show of sportsmanship Colombian club Atlético Nacional, the Brazilians former opponent, asked organizers to award the doomed team the winning title.
Support was also shown around the world with National landmarks that lit up the color green (the clubs jersey color) and European soccer teams taking a moment of silence at the beginning of each game. Real Madrid soccer player, Christiano Ronaldo also donated 3 million Euros to Chapecoense and families of the players that died.
A video was found of the player’s last minutes on the plane.