Plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense crashes in Colombia

A plane carrying more than 80 people, including members of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense, has crashed in Colombia according to authorities.

Medellin international airport has confirmed that the charter aircraft was involved in a serious emergency on its way to the city.

It is not known at this moment whether there have been any casualties.

Local media reported that the plane was carrying members of the football team Chapecoense from Brazil – a fact later confirmed by airport authorities.

The team was scheduled to play Copa Sudamerica finals against Atletico Nacional on Wednesday in Medellin.

Brazilian football team Chapecoense

The plane – a British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane – is believed to have started its journey in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at 3.35pm in the afternoon local time. It made a stop in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a bustling economic hub in eastern Bolivia, later that day before setting off for Colombia.

Medellin’s international airport said on its Twitter account that the aircraft had departed from Bolivia. Colombia has declared a state of emergency following the crash, according to media reports.

“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where the chartered aircraft is believed to have crashed shortly before midnight local time.

Chapecoense were on their way to play in the first leg of Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atlético Nacional. The match was scheduled to be played in Medellin on 30 November, with the second leg back in Brazil on 7 December.

Following news of the crash, the football tournament was suspended by the South American football confederation CONMEBOL.

The team, from the small city of Chapeco, joined Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating Argentina’s legendary San Lorenzo squad.