Footage shows Chapecoencse footballers joking, laughing as doomed trip begins

The Chapecoense football team in high spirits on the doomed flight. Photo / via Twitter
The Chapecoense football team in high spirits on the doomed flight. Photo / via Twitter

Felipe Machado turns on his smartphone's forward-facing camera and hits record. He is jovial, and so he should be.

The 32-year-old defender from Brazil's Chapecoencse football club is on the way to the finals of a tournament. He's doing what he loves and it's written all over the broad smile he wears.

"It's beginning, it's beginning. The trip to Colombia," he repeats over and over as his teammates signal towards the camera as they boarded their first of two flights.


"That's it guys. Let's get the trip started."

A team official passes by his chair and he tells him: "Say hello to all." Then he records the last four words anyone will ever hear him speak.

"OK guys, let's fly!"

The plane, carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed into a hillside near Medellin about 10.15pm local time on Monday. There were only six survivors.

Reports have emerged the team was forced change flights at the last minute due to red tape.

London's The Sun reports the team could have flown directly to Medellin on their original plane, but were forced to stop in Bolivia and change onto the potentially faulty aircraft due to rules governing international flight services in South America.

The footage from the day Flight LMI2933 lost radio signal and plummeted towards the ground was posted on social media.


Other images show smiling teammates in their last moments. Alan Ruschel, a defender on loan from Internacional, survived the crash but posted photos of teammates who did not.

On Snapchat he shared a video showing him and teammate Danilo Padilha, who survived the flight but later died in hospital.

The Sun reports Danilo, the club's goalkeeper, made a heartbreaking final phone call to his wife. The 31-year-old later died in hospital.

A journalist travelling with the team posted photographs on his Facebook account as the team prepared to board the plane - a plane that was swapped at the last minute.

Excited, Rafael Henzel wrote in captions "Let's go to Medellin" and "Almost taking off".

Henzel was one of six people to have survived the crash. Others include footballers Helio Zampier Neto, Ruschel and Jackson Ragnar Follmann, flight attendant Ximena Suárez and flight technician Erwin Tumiri.

The team was preparing to face Colombian outfit Atletico Nacional in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, which is South America's second most prestigious cup competition.

A victory for Chapecoense would have capped a huge year for the club, which was only promoted to Brazil's top division recently.

In a statement, Atletico Nacional said it was offering its title to the team.

Dejected players who did not travel with the team were left to pick up the pieces. They gathered inside the club's locker room where they were told the devastating news.

Five of Brazil's top clubs offered to loan Chapecoense players for free. It was part of an outpouring of support from the footballing fraternity.

A fan of Brazil's soccer team Chapecoense mourns during a gathering inside Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil. Photo / AP
A fan of Brazil's soccer team Chapecoense mourns during a gathering inside Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil. Photo / AP
Rescue workers carry the bodies of victims of an airplane crash. Photo / AP
Rescue workers carry the bodies of victims of an airplane crash. Photo / AP
Messages left by fans are part of a makeshift memorial for members of the Chapecoense soccer team. Photo / AP
Messages left by fans are part of a makeshift memorial for members of the Chapecoense soccer team. Photo / AP

Former star Pele led tributes. He called it a "tragic loss" and said "Brazilian football is in mourning".

Current Brazilian international and Barcelona forward Neymar posted an image of the club's logo on his Instagram page.

"It's impossible to believe this tragedy, impossible to believe what happened, impossible to believe that the plane crashed, impossible to believe that athletes, human beings were on this plane, impossible to believe that these people left their families ... Today the world cries, but heaven rejoices in receiving Champions."



- news.com.au

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