Brazil declares three days of mourning for 75 victims of plane crash that wiped out football team on way to cup final in Colombia

Frank Dalleres
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All but six of the people on board the flight died as a result of the crash on Monday night (Source: Getty)

Brazil has declared a period of mourning for the victims of a plane crash that all but wiped out football team Chapecoense on the eve of the biggest game in their history.

All but six of the 81 people on the flight, which was transporting Chapecoense players and staff to a match with Medellin team Atletico Nacional, died after it crashed into Colombian jungle on Monday night.

At least two of the survivors were players.

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The teams had been due to meet in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana – the South American equivalent of the Europa League – on Wednesday.

Brazil’s president Michel Temer declared three days of mourning for the crash, which also killed more than 20 journalists.

A cause is not known but local media said the pilot had reported an electrical fault.

Copa Sudamericana organisers said Atletico Nacional had offered to award the trophy to Chapecoense.

Chapecoense: the Leicester City of Brazil

The club had risen up Brazilian football in recent years and was set to play in the South American equivalent of the Europa League final (Source: Getty)

The unheralded club from the southern Brazilian city of Chapeco – population: 209,000 – has enjoyed a fairytale rise to the top division in recent years, earning comparisons with Leicester City’s unlikely Premier League success last season.

Defender Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Jackson Follman survived the crash. Some reports said a third player, defender Heilio Neto, was also saved.

Chapecoense’s regular goalkeeper Danilo was rescued from the wreckage but died in hospital.

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