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Plane carrying Brazilian soccer team crashes in Colombia, 76 dead

By Geoffrey C. Arnold • Nov 29, 2016 at 12:17 PM

A plane carrying members of the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense crashed in Colombia Monday night, killing 76 of the 82 passengers, according to Colombian authorities.

At least six passengers are believed to have survived, authorities said. Rescue efforts have been slowed by bad weather. However, one of the survivors died, according to reports.

Chapecoense, from Brazil's top league, had been flying to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin, Columbia in the first leg of Wednesday's Copa Sudamericana final. The chartered plane, who originated in Bolivia was carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members.

The flight crew declared an emergency at 10 p.m. on Monday because of an electrical failure and the plane crashed not long after that, about five minutes from its destination. The plane crashed in a mountainous rural area outside of the city of Medellin and heavy rains at one point halted rescue operations.

The crash is devastating for the club and the small city of Chapeco, which was enjoying a magical season. They joined Brazil's top flight in 2014 for the first time since the 1970 and it was the first time the club had reached the final of a major South American club competition.

The South American football federation suspended all games and other activities following the crash.

-- Geoffrey C. Arnold -- @geoffreyCarnold

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