A charter plane carrying 81 people, including players from Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense headed for a championship match, slammed into a mountainside late Monday en route to Medellín’s airport in Colombia.
At least five passengers survived and the rest were killed, officials said as teams struggled to reach the crash site Tuesday amid driving rain.
The final death toll remained unclear, however. At least one person was pulled alive from the wreckage, but later died, police said. The conditions of the other five survivors was not immediately clear.
Medellín’s mayor, Federico Gutierrez, called it “a tragedy of huge proportions.”
Poor weather made it initially difficult for rescue teams to access the crash site, but Alfredo Bocanegra, the head of Colombia’s aviation authority, told reporters at about 4 a.m. Tuesday that search efforts continued despite heavy rain.
“It is worth it to keep looking,” Bocanegra said. “One single life is worth it.”