A plane crashed en route to Medellín, Colombia, claiming the lives of 76 people late Monday night, including most of a Brazilian soccer team that was en route to South America's second-most important tournament, the Copa Sudamericana or South American Cup. The competition was to take place in the city Wednesday. Players, along with coaches, doctors, and reportedly 21 journalists were among the over 70 individuals killed. Five survived, including three players. The grief has struck fans hard, and they were quick to express it. Following the crash, Chapecoense football team tributes flooded Twitter.
The plane was a British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane registered to a charter company in Bolivia, where the plane made a stop after leaving Brazil but before heading to Colombia. The Guardian reported that the plane reported an electrical problem before the accident; it had been traveling through an area with heavy rains and thunderstorms. Initially six survivors were recovered from the crash site but one died at the hospital. Due to inclement weather, the crash site is only accessible by land, and the recovery of more bodies will continue after daybreak. As devastating as is the accident itself, the remembrances and tributes that have hit social media are a reminder of what was lost.
The Players Who Stayed Home
Tweeted in Spanish, "This breaks your heart in a million pieces. The players who didn't travel, in the locker room.
From Other Teams
The players of Spain's Real Madrid take a moment of silence before practice.
A player from River Plate, Gabriel Gonçalves, tweets in Portuguese, "I had the pleasure of meeting Cléber Santana in a game of ours versus Chapecoense Juniors. Great person!"
From an Istanbul team.
From Michael Ballack, a retired German soccer player.
From Around The World
Memories Of The Better Times
A tweet with a video following their qualification for the Copa Sudamericana.
"You will always be in our hearts" in Portuguese.
Tweeted in Portuguese: "A team with such a pretty story. You will forever be remembered."
The team played in fourth division just a few years ago. This would have been the cup that opened up the possibility of winning the Copa Libertadores, the most important soccer competition in South America. They were so very close when this tragedy struck.
So as the hashtag #ForçaChape says in Portuguese, be strong Chapecoense and stand with the families of the victims.