Chapecoense plane ran out of fuel: Officials

Bogota, Dec 27 (IANS) The Columbian plane carrying the Chapecoense football team which crashed last month was caused by a lack of fuel, officials have confirmed.

On November 28, seventy-one people died when the chartered aircraft slammed into a hillside just before its planned destination near Medellín, Colombia, Xinhua news agency reports.

Among the dead were 19 Chapecoense players and all of the Brazilian club’s coaching staff. There were only six survivors.

Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday that a preliminary investigation also found that the plane carried excess weight and that the flight path was “irregular”.

In addition, pilot Miguel Quiroga, who died in the accident, took too long to declare an emergency, officials said during a press conference.

“The plane’s weight exceeded the allowed amount by 500 kg, but that wasn’t the principal cause of the accident, ” said Freddy Bonilla, the authority’s Secretary for Airline Security.

“The situation of a complete failure was reported only two minutes before the plane went down,” Bonilla said.

Officials also blamed Bolivian authorities for allowing the plane to depart from Santa Cruz de la Sierra without an approved flight path.

Earlier in December, the Bolivian government suspended LaMia’s operating licence and president Evo Morales promised a full investigation.