LA PAZ – An international group of prosecutors probing last week’s Lamia airlines plane crash in Colombia that left 71 dead, including members of Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense, began meeting on Wednesday in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz to coordinate their efforts in the case.
Bolivian Attorney General Ramiro Guerrero co-hosted the gathering along with the top prosecutor in Santa Cruz province, Gomer Padilla, officials told EFE.
Prosecutors from the southern Brazilian city of Chapeco, where Chapecoense is based; Brazil’s federal AG’s office; and the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, where the crash occurred, also took part in the meeting.
The charter plane, which was carrying Chapecoense players, executives, coaches and other staff, along with special guests, journalists and a crew of nine, took off from Santa Cruz and crashed on the night of Nov. 28 in the mountains outside Medellin, Antioquia’s capital.
Six people – including three players – survived the crash, which, according to the initial investigation, occurred after the plane ran out of fuel.
The members of Chapecoense, who had earlier taken a commercial flight to Santa Cruz, were traveling to Medellin to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.
The final was canceled after the crash, with Chapecoense awarded the title at Atletico Nacional’s request.
On Tuesday, prosecutors raided Lamia’s headquarters in Santa Cruz city and arrested the airline’s CEO, Gustavo Vargas Gamboa, and two other employees.
Vargas, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2013 and suffers from diabetes, was taken to that city’s San Juan de Dios hospital for a health examination on Wednesday at prosecutors’ request, that hospital’s director, Marcelo Cuellar, told reporters.
He is currently in stable condition, Cuellar said.
The other two Lamia employees were taken into custody on Tuesday but were released in recent hours after undergoing questioning by Bolivian prosecutors.