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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Forensic Experts Finish Identifying 71 Victims of Colombia Air Crash

BOGOTA – Colombia’s Legal Medicine Institute (IML) announced on Thursday that it has finished identifying all 71 victims of the plane crash that killed most of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer club, adding that the deaths occurred due to “multiple bone and body injuries.”

“The final report from all the autopsy and identification procedures ... concluded about 3 a.m. this morning,” IML director Carlos Eduardo Valdes said at a press conference.

He said that “it was concluded that the cause of death corresponds to multiple bone and body injuries in accord with .... the deceleration and crash” of the aircraft.

The Avro RJ85 aircraft owned by Bolivia’s Lamia Airlines crashed on Monday into a hillside near Medellin. On the last leg of its flight, the plane had taken off from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

The dead included 64 Brazilian passengers, along with five Bolivians, a Venezuelan and a Paraguayan who were part of the flight crew.

Valdes said that at 5 a.m. forensic officials began turning over the bodies to other authorities involved in the case.

“Once the bodies are turned over, the Medellin Mayor’s Office and the Antioquia provincial government have set up all the logistics needed so that – in coordination with the embassies – the bodies may be transported to their (countries) of origin today,” he said.

Meanwhile, the president of Brazil’s National Commission of Soccer Physicians, Jorge Pagura, said in Medellin that “15 bodies have already been sent to the funeral home and, once the preparations are complete, they will leave for Brazil.”

Six occupants of the plane survived – four Brazilians and two Bolivian crewmembers.

The survivors includes Chapecoense players Alan Ruschel, Jackson Follman and Helio Neto, journalist Rafael Valmorbida, flight attendant Ximena Suarez and aviation technician Erwin Tumiri.

Pagura said that the survivors “are being well attended to and the process of gathering them all in a single hospital is under way.”

“Moving from the emergency phase, there are other surgeries that are not urgent, and so insofar as it is possible we’re going to transfer them all to Brazil,” he added.

 

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