|Rescue workers work to rescue survivors and recover bodies in the wreckage of the LAMIA Bolivia flight that crashed near Medellin, Colombia on Nov. 29. Photo: Aircraft Accident Investigation unit of the Colombia Civil Aviation Authority|
[Avionics Magazine 11-29-2016] A charter plane operated by LAMIA Bolivia crashed in a mountainous area near the Colombian city of Medellin on Nov. 29 at about 10:15 p.m. local time, killing 76 of the 81 passengers on board, according to the Aircraft Accident Investigation unit of the Colombia Civil Aviation Authority.
The LAMIA Bolivia flight,registration CP-2933, was carrying 72 passengers including much of the Chapecoense de Brazil soccer team, 21 journalists and nine crew members when it went down en route from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Medellin, according to the aviation authority. The flight originated in Brazil before stopping in Santa Cruz.
According to Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority, six passengers originally survived the crash, including three players, two crewmembers and one journalist, but one of the players later died in the hospital. Rescue workers are still on the scene working to recover bodies and wreckage.
The cause of the crash is still undetermined, but La Ceja mayor Elkin Ospina reported to AFP: “It appears that the plane ran out of fuel.”
The aircraft was a narrow-body, short-haul British Aerospace 146, also known as an Avro RJ85. Manufactured by BAE Systems as part of the company’s regional aircraft offerings, the aircraft is often converted for use in firefighting operations in North America but is also in service in regional airlines in Europe and Australia. It has a 10-ton freight payload and BAE Systems’ website estimates that 220 Avro RJ aircraft are in service.
Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority is reporting that rescue workers are advancing recovery of bodies and are moving to determine the cause of the accident.
“The group of accident investigation of civil aviation is a endeavoring to find the black boxes of the aircraft, which will provide useful information in the investigative process in order to know the possible causes of the accident,” the Colombian authority said in a recent statement.
The U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) is also looking to investigate the crash according to a Nov. 29 statement released on the board’s website. The AAIB is deploying a team of three accident investigators specializing in operations, engineering and flight data recorders to the accident site, assisted by representatives from BAE Systems.