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Plane carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia, killing 71 on board

Chapecoense was heading to Medellin to play Atlético Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final.

Juan Mabromata / Getty Images

A chartered plane carrying Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense crashed near Medellin, Colombia on Monday night, killing 71 people on board. There were six survivors. The death toll was initially reported as 75, but officials reduced the number to 71 after confirming four people didn't board the flight.

The flight was chartered by Bolivian company LaMia. It was carrying nine crew members and 68 passengers, including Chapecoense players, team coaches and staff, club officials, their guests, and journalists.

Aeronáutica Civil — the Colombian government's aviation administration — initially confirmed the names of six survivors. Players Alan Ruschel and Jakson Follmann, crew members Ximena Suárez and Erwin Tumiri, and journalist Rafael Hensel were found alive at the crash scene and transported to the hospital. Goalkeeper Danilo was found alive on the scene, but died in the hospital. Police later confirmed that they found defender Neto alive.

Reports of heavy rain and difficult terrain near the crash site made the search and rescue process more difficult. Bolivian aviation officials have reason to believe there was an electrical problem on the plane, according to the Associated Press, and authorities will investigate a flight attendant’s claim that the plane ran out of fuel.

Chapecoense is a club from Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil. They were heading to Colombia to play Atlético Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final. The first leg of the final was scheduled for Wednesday. The South American Football Confederation announced that the match and all activities of the Confederation are suspended until further notice.

The club released this video of the team celebrating after qualifying for the final with the caption "Let this be the last image of our warriors."

Some Chapecoense players and employees who didn’t travel to Medellin came to the clubhouse to meet on Tuesday morning, and the photos of them inside an empty locker room are heartbreaking.

Argentine forward Alejandro Martinuccio was one of the players who did not make the flight. He was left off the traveling squad because of an injury. "I was saved because I got injured," Martinuccio said. "I feel profound sadness. The only thing I can ask is prayers for the companions who were on the flight."

Neymar and other Brazilian national team players offered their condolences and support on Tuesday, while a number of clubs held moments of silence for the victims before their training sessions.

Ligue 1 has already announced that they will hold a minute’s silence before their games this weekend in remembrance of the victims, and other leagues are expected to follow suit. Atlético Nacional has reportedly asked for the 2016 Copa Sudamericana title to be awarded to Chapecoense.