BOGOTA, April 28 — Crew members ignored a low-fuel warning 40 minutes before the 2016 plane crash that devastated Brazilian football club Chapecoense, according to Colombian authorities.
A report released by Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority on Friday confirmed that the British Aerospace Avro RJ85 ran out of fuel just before reaching its destination in Medellin.
Seventy-one of the 77 passengers aboard died in the Nov. 28, 2016 crash, including 19 Chapecoense players and all of the club’s coaching staff.
The team from southern Brazil was travelling to Medellin to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamerica final against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional.
“The plane has alarms and lights that turn on that tell the crew to do something when fuel is low,” chief investigator Miguel Camacho told reporters on Friday.
The report said the plane – operated by charter company LaMia, departed Santa Cruz de La Sierra in Bolivia with insufficient fuel for the 2,972km journey.
“The crew insisted on carrying out their original flight plan, even when they realized they had a very limited amount of fuel,” the report said. “But there was no communication with air traffic control.”
The report followed a 15-month inquiry into the incident by the Colombian authorities, which worked in conjunction with counterparts in Bolivia and Brazil.
LaMia’s general manager Gustavo Vargas Gamboa was charged with manslaughter following the incident.
Criminal charges have also been brought against LaMia co-owner Marco Antonio Rocha, whose whereabouts are unknown.