Deadly plane crash in Colombia remains a mystery a year later

Updated 2017-11-30 13:32:55 Xinhua

One year after the plane crash that killed almost the entire Chapecoense soccer team, many questions remain unanswered and the families of the victims have yet to receive any sort of compensation.

On Wednesday, the town of Chapeco, in Brazil's Santa Catarina state, paid homage to the victims of the crash, almost all of whom were in some way connected with the local soccer team.

The local stadium, the Conda Arena, was open all day long with people paying homage to the victims. The town's cathedral held several masses during the day.

The small plane carrying the Chapecoense team to the final match of the South American Cup crashed into a hill in Colombia on Nov. 29, 2016, killing 71 people and injuring six others.

All but three Chapecoense players died in the crash. The other three survivors were one Brazilian journalist who was accompanying the team and two crew members.

The plane, which belonged to small company LaMia and had been used by several soccer teams in the past, was discovered to have taken off from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, without sufficient fuel to reach its destination in a safe manner, and crashed minutes before landing in the Colombian Medellin, where Chapecoense would face the local team, Atletico Nacional, in a match.

The accident, one of the largest tragedies in the history of sport, caused commotion in both Brazil and Colombia.

A mass was also held at the crash site in Medellin on Wednesday.

One year after the tragedy, the ownership of the plane remains unclear. It was said to have belonged to Miguel Quiroga, who was also the plane pilot and died in the crash. However, evidence indicates the company had Venezuelan owners, which may lead to another country, in addition to Brazil and Colombia, being involved in the crash.

LaMia's insurance company denied compensation, alleging that the pilot and plane owner deliberately took the risk of flying with just adequate fuel for the trip.

The insurance company offered a much lower amount than it was originally due to the families of the victims, but families have so far not accepted that shrunk offer.

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