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Northern Ireland football family tributes after Brazilian team Chapecoense plane crash

Published 29/11/2016

People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
A fan of Colombia's football team Atletico Nacional holds a banner in memoriam of the Chapecoense footbal team members in La Union, Antioquia Department, Colombia on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A woman pays tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. Players of the Chapecoense were among 81 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia, in which officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players. Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. / AFP PHOTO / Nelson ALMEIDANELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images
People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. Players of the Chapecoense were among 81 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia, in which officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players. Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. / AFP PHOTO / Nelson AlmeidaNELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images
People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. Players of the Chapecoense were among 81 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia, in which officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players. Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. / AFP PHOTO / Nelson AlmeidaNELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images
People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on November 29, 2016. Players of the Chapecoense were among 81 people on board the doomed flight that crashed into mountains in northwestern Colombia, in which officials said just six people were thought to have survived, including three of the players. Chapecoense had risen from obscurity to make it to the Copa Sudamericana finals scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. / AFP PHOTO / Nelson AlmeidaNELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images
A red rose sits on top of the Chapecoense soccer team logo outside the Arena Conda stadium, where team fans are gathering in Chapeco, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. A chartered plane that was carrying the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to the biggest match of its history crashed into a Colombian hillside and broke into pieces, Colombian officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers search for survivors at he wreckage of a chartered airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors around the wreckage of a chartered airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Wednesday , Nov. 30, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying a Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team is seen after it crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team is seen after it crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers gesture near the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team is seen after it crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed is seen in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the forensics team carry the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
A police officer stands next to the body of a victim of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers arrange the bodies of victims of an airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers carry the body of a survivor of a plane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers carry the boris of victims of an airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday , Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers carry the body of a man from a plane that crashed outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
CORRECTS DATE - Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors around the wreckage of a chartered airplane that crashed in La Union, a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
Rescue workers search at the wreckage site of a chartered airplane that crashed outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Members of the forensics team recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers carry the bodies of victims of an airplane that crashed in a mountainous area outside Medellin, Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016. The plane was carrying the Brazilian first division soccer club Chapecoense team that was on it's way for a Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombia's Atletico Nacional. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides)
TOPSHOT - EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Members of the forensics team recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapecoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / RAUL ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Rescuers search for survivors from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Chapocoense Real football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016. A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDARAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

The Northern Ireland football family has paid tribute to those killed after a plane carrying the Brazilian Chapecoense football team crashed in Colombia.

A chartered plane carrying the Brazilian first division football team crashed while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing 76 people.

Officials said that six people initially survived the crash near Medellin, but one died later in hospital.

The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency at 10pm local time on Monday because of an electrical failure, aviation authorities said.

The aircraft, which had departed from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was transporting the Chapecoense team to Medellin's Jose Maria Cordova airport.

The Northern Ireland football team offered its thoughts and prayers though its Twitter account.

"Thoughts and prayers go to all effected by the Chapecoense aeroplane disaster this morning," Linfield FC tweeted.

 

Scores of teams and footballers from across the world also paid their respects following the tragedy.

 

The team, from southern Brazil and which had started its journey in Sao Paulo, was scheduled to play on Wednesday in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin.

It was not immediately clear if the team switched planes in Bolivia or just made a stopover with the same plane.

"What was supposed to be a celebration has turned into a tragedy," Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez said from the search and rescue command centre.

The club said in a brief statement on its Facebook page that "may God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation".

Brazil as well as South America's football federation extended its condolences to the entire Chapecoense community and said its president, Luis Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin.

All football activities were suspended until further notice, the organization said in a statement.

Elkin Ospina, mayor of La Ceja - near where the crash took place, said rescuers working through the night had been heartened after pulling three passengers alive from the wreckage.

Authorities and rescuers were immediately activated but an air force helicopter had to turn back because of low visibility.

Heavy rainfall complicated the night-time search, and authorities urged journalists to stay off the roads so ambulances and other rescuers could reach the site.

Images broadcast on local television showed three male passengers arriving to a local hospital in ambulances on stretchers and covered in blankets connected to an IV. All were apparently alive and one of them was reportedly a Chapecoense defender named Alan Ruschel who doctors said suffered spinal injuries.

Two goalkeepers, Danilo and Jackson Follmann, as well as a member of the team's delegation and a Bolivian flight attendant, were found alive in the wreckage.

But Danilo later died while receiving hospital treatment, team spokesman Andrei Copetti said.

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 video published on the team's Facebook page showed the team readying for the flight earlier on Monday in Sao Paulo's Guarulhos international airport.

The team, from the small city of Chapeco, was in the middle of a fairy tale season. It joined Brazil's first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals - the equivalent of the Uefa Europa League tournament - after defeating two of Argentina's fiercest squads, San Lorenzo and Independiente, as well as Colombia's Junior.

The team is so modest that its 22,000-seat arena was ruled by tournament organisers too small to host the final match, which was instead moved to a stadium 300 miles to the north in the city of Curitiba.

"Chapecoense was the biggest source of happiness in the town," the club's vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, told Brazil's SporTV. "Many in the town are crying."

AP

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