This haunting picture shows three members of the Chapecoense football team sitting in the club's empty changing room after learning the plane carrying their teammates had crashed.

The Brazilian football team had been travelling to Colombia to play Athletico Nacional for the biggest game in the club's history, the Copa Sudamerica final.

But their journey to the Colombian city of Medellin came to a devastating end when the jet crashed in remote mountains.


The Avro RJ85 plane, which was carrying nine crew, crashed at about 10.15pm after suffering "electric failures" while flying through the mountainous Antioquia Department on its way from Bolivia.

Local officials said it crashed against a hill and broke in two.

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The heartbreaking images of the non-travelling players came just days after the players were filmed celebrating wildly in the same room as they reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

Chapecoense celebrating in their changing room just days before the crash

One of the players who did not make the journey was Alejandro Martinuccio, who was nursing an injury.

The 28-year-old, who also played for Villarreal in Spain, told Argentina's La Red radio: "I was saved because I got injured. I feel profound sadness. The only thing I can ask is prayers for the companions who were on the flight."

The other eight players who did not travel have been named as Nenem, Demerson, Marcelo Boeck, Andrei, Hyoran, Nivaldo, Moises and Rafael Lima.

Meanwhile, Matheus Saroli, son of Chapecoense's coach Caio Junior, who died in the crash, revealed how he didn't board the flight as he had forgotten his passport.

The team, from the small city of Chapeco, was in the middle of a fairytale season.

It joined Brazil's first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals - the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League tournament - after defeating Argentina's San Lorenzo.

Chapecoense issued a brief statement saying: "May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation."

Later the team's vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, told cable channal SporTV: "There are a lot of people crying in our city. We could never imagine this. Chapecoense is the biggest reason for joy here."

There are reports the team had to change their flight and board the doomed aircraft after Brazilian aviation authorities prevented them from taking a charter plane.