Chapecoense air tragedy: From dream to disaster

Dec 1, 2016 14:28 IST

ChapecoenseIn Columbia’s worst air disaster in nearly two decades, Chartered British aircraft - Flight 2933 carrying most of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense to one of their biggest games, crashed near Medellin on 28 November 2016.

The team was traveling from Santa Cruz to Medellin to play the first leg of the two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. The second leg was scheduled to be hosted by Chapecoense at Esatdio Couto Pereira in Curitiba on 7 December 2016.  

Amoung the 77 passengers on board, 22 were Chapecoense players and 21 were journalists, who were accompanying the team for their final match. Only six people were pulled out alive, three of whom were players, one journalist and two crew members.

Names of the players who died in the crash

Cleber Santana: The former Atletico Madrid star was the team captain. He posted a haunting final picture of himself on the dreaded flight before its crash with a captain that read, “In how many lives I live, in all, I will love you.”

Marcos Danilo Padilha: Though the 31-year-old goalkeeper was pulled out alive from the crash site, he succumbed to his injuries shortly after.

Bruno Rangel: The 34-year-old was a star striker of the club and its leading goal-scorer during the 2016 season.

Ananias: The young attacker was often compared to Spain’s Andres Iniesta by fans who had even created a pen name for him, ‘Ananiesta’.

Everton Kempes: He joined his 13th club, Chapecoense as an Attacker in December 2015.

Lucas Gomes: The 26-year-old played as an attacker on the Chapecoense. He also joined the club in 2015.

Tiaguinho: The young 22-year-old attacker found out that he was going to be a dad just one week before the crash.

Arthur Maia: The 24-year-old winger or attacking midfielder joined the  Chapecoense team in 2016. He was loaned to the club by Vitoria.

Other players who did not survive the crash include attacker Ailton Canela (22), defenders Filipe Machado (32), Marcelo (25), Willian Thiego (30) and Dener (25), Gimenez (20), Matthew Caramel (22), Josimar (30), Matheus Biteco (21), Gil (29) and Sergio Manoel (27).

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Those who survived

Jackson Follman ( reserve goalkeeper): He had to get his right leg amputated

Helio Neto (defender): He has suffered severe trauma in his skull, thorax and lungs.

Alan Ruschel (defender): He had to undergo a spinal surgery

Nivaldo: The Chapecoense goalkeeper did not travel with the team for its first leg of the finals. He was supposed to make his 300th appearance in the team’s home match. He announced his retirement 24 hours after the crash.

Alejandro Martinuccio: The 28-year-old was supposed to be the 23rd player aboard the fatal flight but he had to stay back due to an injury.

The eight other Chapecoense players who did not travel with the team were midfielders Andrei, Moises, Hyoram and Nenem, defenders Rafael Lima and Demerson and goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck. Boeck had stayed back to celebrate his birthday on 28 November.

Matheus Saroli :The son of Chapecoense's coach Caio Junior who passed away in the tragedy was also supposed to board the flight. He stayed back because he had forgotten his passport.

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The finals have been suspended following the crash. Opponent team Atletico Nacional has requested Conmebol, the South American football association to hand over the cup to Chapecoense. If the South American football association (Conmebol) agrees to it then the Chapecoense would automatically qualify for the next year’s competition.

Many Brazilian clubs have come forward to offer support to Chapecoense and are willing to loan them some of their top players completely free of cost. They have also requested that the club should not be lowered to the second division of three years, giving it time to recover from the disaster.

To pay further respect to the players, the Brazilian champion Palmeiras has requested the Brazilian Football Confederation to permit them to wear the Chapecoense's jersey in its final match of the season.

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