"Chapecoense was the biggest source of happiness in the town."
A charter plane carrying 72 passengers, including the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, and nine crew members crashed in Colombia last night while flying from Bolivia to Medellin's international airport.
Initial reports claimed 76 of the 81 passengers on board died during the crash. Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Follmann were reportedly among the survivors.
According to reports:
"The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency at 10 p.m. local time on Monday because of an electrical failure, aviation authorities said."
The local public TV station Teleantioquia said defender Hélio Hermito Zampier Neto also survived the crash. He is said to be hospitalised in a critical condition.
Teleantioquia also reported that Ruschel, a 27-year-old left back on loan from Internacional, was in a stable condition.
The other survivors are a journalist and a member of the crew, Globo said. The South American Football Confederation has suspended all games and other activities because of the crash.
"Chapecoense was the biggest source of happiness in the town," the club's vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, told Brazil's SporTV. "Many in the town are crying."
Chapecoense was flying to Medellin to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.