In Chapeco, Brazil’s state of Santa Catarina, a 100,000 people, half the city’s population is expected to gather to attend the memorial services of Chapecoense soccer players. The ceremony will be held in the teams stadium in Chapeco. Brazilian air force planes will be bringing back the bodies.
The players were among the 71 dead in a plane crash near Columbia on November 28. Only six people survived the deadly crash, which according to preliminary investigations, occurred due to fuel starvation. Among the survivors are three players of the team.
Brazilian president Michel Temer is expected to receive the bodies at the airport. The president however will not attend the memorial ceremony at the stadium due to concerns of major protests. Among other prominent football figures attending the ceremony is FIFA’s Gianni Infantino.
The unfortunate plane belonged to LaMia airlines. Bolivian authorities have revoked the licenses of the company. Brazilians are criticizing the company for failing to take necessary measures which could possibly avert the devastating crash.
“It was 77 people’s lives in the hands of one pilot. It was not just one family. It shocked the whole world, there is no doubt the company was wrong, We are very shaken, ” The Guardian quoted Caroline Machado 19 as saying.
Her uncle Eduardo Preuss — a coaching staff, also lost his life in the crash.
On Friday, Roger Pinto Molina, Father-in-law of the flight’s pilot, apologized to the Brazilian people. Molina also part owned the crashed plane. He is a former Bolivian senator, now living in exile in Brazil.
We want to say to millions of Brazilians, especially the families, sons, parents and brothers in Chapeco that we are very sorry, said Molina.
He however declined to comment on the cause of the crash.