The Lamia Airlines crash, which killed 71, was caused as a result of human error, according to a preliminary report by air crash investigators. The plane, which had been carrying the Chapecoense football team, crashed into mountains, killing 71 people.
A preliminary report into the incident has now been released by the Colombian civial aviation authority Aerocivil, which says there were no technical issues with the plane, which plunged to the groun in mountains close to Medellin in Colombia.
Officials say that the plane came down because the pilot had failed to refuel when he had the opportunity to do so en route, and he did not report that his engines had failed until the situation became critical.
No fuel, too heavy and at the wrong altitude
In a statement to reporters, Colonel Freddy Bonilla, Colombia’s Secretary for Air Safety, said: “No technical factor was part of the accident, everything involved human error, added to a management factor in the company’s administration and the management and organization of the flight plans by the authorities in Bolivia.”
The plane was also over its weight limit and had not been certified to fly at the altitude it was, say officials. Only six people survived the disaster, and they have been speaking for the first time about the harrowing moments before the jet came down, just 30 kilometres before it would have reached Medellin airport.
Survivors have been telling how terrified passengers screamed as the plane went down. Only six people survived. One of those was crew member Erwin Tumiri, who said he put his bags between his legs and got into a fetal position as the plane plummeted towards the ground. He said many panicking passengers actually got up rather than following emergency protocol. Meanwhile, one of the first rescuers on the scene said survivors asked him where their family and friends were.