Chapecoense air crash likely caused by lack of fuel, says investigator
Insufficient fuel was the likely cause of the air crash that killed 71 people including 19 members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense, authorities have said.
Alfredo Bocanegra, Colombian civil aviation chief, said an initial inspection of the crash site appeared to support a leaked tape in which the pilot of the ill-fated plane can be heard requesting permission to land due to a lack of fuel and electric failure.
According to Bocanegro, the findings of the suggestion indicated there had been no fuel in the plane "at the moment of impact," which would account for the absence of an explosion.
Bocanegro said: "Upon arriving at the scene of the accident, and having been able to do an inspection of all of the remains and parts of the plane, we can affirm, clearly, that the aircraft did not have fuel at the moment of impact.
"Therefore, we have begun a process to investigate to clear up for what reason this aircraft had no fuel at the time of impact."
Colombian officials said at the same news conference that while regulations required planes carry an extra 30 minutes of fuel reserves to use in the event of an emergency, in this case there was not enough fuel to land the plane.
The crash occurred near the Colombian city of Medellin, where it was due to land at the airport, on Monday night. The flights had circled several times before crashing.
Of the six crash survivors, two Chapecoense players remained in a critical condition the club said. One of the players has had a leg amputated and could yet lose his other foot.