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Chapecoense crash: plane may have 'run out of fuel'

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By Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters
Chapecoense crash: plane may have 'run out of fuel'

<p>Colombian authorities are looking into reports that the plane carrying Brazilian footballers that crashed near Medellin may have run out of fuel.</p> <p>There have been <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-crash-idUSKBN13P0F2">unconfirmed reports</a> that the pilot had sent a radio message saying the plane was running out of fuel and needed to make an emergency landing – and that there were then electrical problems.</p> <p>Investigators from Brazil have arrived in Colombia to join local counterparts following the crash that killed 71 people, wiping out the Chapecoense football team.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38160340">Experts from Britain</a>, where the charter plane – a BAe 146 made by <span class="caps">BAE</span> Systems – was built, are also in the country to help the national authorities. </p> <p>The two <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/11/30/black-boxes-are-recovered-from-colombia-plane-crash">black boxes have been recovered</a> but retrieving data may take a while.</p> <p>The aircraft had flown from Santa Cruz in Bolivia, carrying the Chapecoense team and officials, as well as more than 20 journalists.</p> <p>Colombian media, quoting investigators, have claimed that the plane was made to wait for another aircraft to land before its turn came.</p> <p>A military source told <span class="caps">AFP</span> that the fact the plane had not exploded upon impact was suspicious, reinforcing the theory of a lack of fuel.</p> <p>Brazil’s ambassador to Colombia spoke from the Rio Negro airport at Medellin where the flight was due to land.</p> <p>“The families, as you can imagine, are in a very delicate situation. We tried to avoid them coming to Colombia so that they don’t have to through the additional stress,” Julio Glinternick Bitelli said. </p> <p>An eyewitness filmed the scene at a local clinic as a survivor was brought in by ambulance.</p> <p>All but six of those on board – three footballers, a journalist and two crew members – died in the crash.</p> <p>The survivors’ injuries range from bruises to at least one amputated limb. </p> <p>The Chapecoense team had risen through the divisions and were about to play the first leg of a Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest match of their history. </p> <p>Investigators returned to the wreckage on Wednesday; soldiers had guarded the hillside crash site overnight.</p> <p>Most of the bodies are said to have been recovered and many identified, with the help of medical experts from Brazil.</p> <p>The bodies are to be repatriated to Brazil and Bolivia, the countries where the nine-person crew came from.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Brazilian soccer fans mourn Chapecoense air crash victims. Read more: <a href="https://t.co/fEXDjsgRCi">https://t.co/fEXDjsgRCi</a> <a href="https://t.co/rND3WNe4pD">pic.twitter.com/rND3WNe4pD</a></p>— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) <a href="https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/803963376984608769">November 30, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>