Deportes

Chapecoense air crash: Leaked tape shows plane 'ran out of fuel'

Chapecoense air crash: Leaked tape shows plane 'ran out of fuel'

The pilot of a plane that crashed in Colombia, killing all but six of the people on board, told air traffic controllers that he had run out of fuel just moments before the disaster.

Chapecoense was about to play the biggest match in its history in the first leg of the regional cup final in Medellin. Fans instead gathered to pay tribute.

At the same time, Chapecoense fans held a tearful vigil at their home stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, which was draped in black ribbons. Both stadiums were filled to capacity.

The leaked conversations between the flight crew and a Colombian air traffic controller give a glimpse of the frantic, final moments of the doomed plane.

The timeline was not immediately clear, but shortly after the pilot radios: "Ma'am, Lima-Mike-India 2933 is in total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel". 71 people died as a result of the crash. These, along with the lack of an explosion upon impact, point to a rare case of fuel running out as a cause of the crash of the jetliner, which experts said was flying at its maximum range.

Bonilla said according to global standards an aircraft must have enough fuel to cover its route and have an additional reserve and an alternative airport to land at if necessary. Its run to the finals of the Copa Sudamericana impressed fans across the continent as it knocked out some of South America's legendary teams.

Almost a dozen soccer clubs are reaching out to help Chapecoense stay afloat until they can rebuild their team.

The majority of the cabin crew, as well as 20 journalists were killed in the crash.

Bonilla also said that the weather conditions in Medellin were optimal for the plane to make its approach and landing.

Another survivor, flight technician Erwin Tumiri, said he was still alive because he followed safety instructions.

Growing ever more desperate, the pilot eventually declared a "total electrical failure", Upegui said, before the plane quickly began to lose speed and altitude. "I put my bag between my legs and went into the foetal position as recommended".

What has the reaction been?

Following the tragedy, Brazil's president Michel Tamer declared three days of national mourning.

"It's a very important final for us", one of the players says in the video.

"This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it".

The team was travelling to Medellin for the first game of the final of the Copa Sudamericana global tournament, in which it was set to play Colombia's Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.

Many of football's most famous names, from Lionel Messi to Pele, have offered condolences.