A chartered aircraft with 81 people on board, including a Brazilian first division soccer team heading to Colombia for a regional tournament final on Monday night crashed on its way to Medellin’s international airport.
Aviation authorities said there are reports of at least six survivors.
“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where aircraft crashed.
“Members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals, were among the 72 passengers and nine crew on board,” officials said.
“National police have arrived on the scene and all possible aid is being mobilized because six survivors are being reported,” the Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport said in a statement.
The team was scheduled to play Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.
The plane was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members, aviation authorities said in a statement.
Local radio said the same aircraft transported Argentina’s national squad for a match earlier this month in Brazil, and previously had transported Venezuela’s national team.
A press release from aviation authorities said the chartered aircraft declared an emergency at 10pm local time on Monday (0300 GMT) due to an electrical failure, Reuters reports.