The desperate last words of the pilot flying the doomed jet carrying a Brazilian football team have emerged.

Miguel Alejandro Quiroga Murakami pleaded on his radio as the jet carrying 77 passengers plummeted to its fate in the Colombian mountains killing 71 people on board.

The conversation was heard by another pilot - Juan Sebastian Upegui - who was on the airwaves at the time and recalled his fellow airman's last words, according to the Daily Mail.

Rescue workers stand at the wreckage site. Photo / AP
Rescue workers stand at the wreckage site. Photo / AP

In his horrifying final call, Mr Quiroga declared an emergency before saying "there's no fuel", "we have total electronic failure" and then screaming, "help us" and "we're going down".

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Mr Quiroga said: "The GPS isn't working, I don't know what's happening.

"We have total electronic failure, total electronic failure. Vector to proceed for landing!

"Now I don't have radar contact. Vector to proceed for landing! Vector to proceed for landing!

"We're going down. Help us! Give us the vectors for the runway! Vectors for the runway! We're at 1,000 feet!"

It was being speculated this morning the doomed jet may have run out of fuel before crash landing in Colombia during dismal weather conditions.

The details of the pilot's last words coincide with the theory.

Investigators say it is "very suspicious" that the plane did not explode on impact as it smashed into a mountain on its way from Bolivia to the Colombian city of Medellin.

A surviving flight attendant is believed to have told authorities that the plane, which was carrying 77 passengers and crew, ran out of fuel minutes before its scheduled landing at Jose Maria Cordova airport.

The theory comes after claims that the pilot of the jet Miguel Alejandro Quiroga Murakami had deliberately circled before landing in a bid to burn off or dump fuel and avoid a blast on impact.

Six people miraculously survived the crash on Tuesday, but the disaster virtually wiped out the up-and-coming Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real whose players were preparing to play in the Copa Sudamerica final - the equivalent of challenging for the Europa League title. Brazilian authorities have declared three days of mourning following the tragedy.

It comes as it was reported that Alan Ruschel, one of the footballers who survived, asked rescuers "My family, my friends, where are they?" as he was being lifted from the wreckage.

This morning it emerged that one survivor, goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, had to have his right leg amputated while being treated at San Vicente Foundation Hospital outside Medellin. He is said to be "stabilising" in intensive care.

Two other players were among the survivors. Alan Ruschel was reported in the most serious condition, facing surgery for a spinal fracture.

According to volunteer rescuer Santiago Campuzano, Ruschel was being stretchered to safety when he mustered the strength to ask him: "My family, my friends, where are they?"
Teammate Helio Zampier also suffered multiple injuries.

Journalist Rafael Valmorbida also underwent surgery while Bolivian flight attendant Ximena Suarez and Bolivian flight technician Erwin Tumiri were both said to be in a stable condition.

The last photo before the team boarded the doomed flight.
The last photo before the team boarded the doomed flight.

As an investigation in to the crash got underway today, a Colombian military source revealed: "It is very suspicious that despite the impact there was no explosion. That reinforces the theory of the lack of fuel."


Flight data shows how the jet circled around a number of times before the disaster after declaring an electrical failure.

The 1,900 mile flight path used by the doomed aircraft from Santa Cruz in Bolivia to Medellin was at edge of the jet's capacity, the Mirror reports.

The plane would ordinarily have needed to stop in Colombia's capital Bogota if it had run low on fuel. But the landing did not take place meaning the jet would have been very low on fuel as it approached Medellin.

It has been reported that the pilot was told that another aircraft had asked for landing priority because of its own on board problems.

The second aircraft was given permission to land while the jet carrying the Brazilian footballers was told to circle at 21,000ft, putting it third or fourth in line to land, according to local media.

Minutes later Quiroga is said to have told authorities he needed to make an immediate landing and was given the go ahead - only for the flight to declare a total lack of power and crash down in Cerro Gordo.

Football legends Pele and Maradona as well as current superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo led tributes to the players of Chapecoense Real, a humble team whose march to glory was cut abruptly short

Having risen only recently from obscurity, the team was on its way to play in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-biggest club tournament, when disaster struck.

"The pain is terrible. Just as we had made it, I will not say to the top, but to have national prominence, a tragedy like this happens," club vice-president Ivan Tozzo told Globo SporTV.

"It is very difficult, a very great tragedy."

The charter plane reported 'electrical failures' around 10pm on Monday and crashed soon after near the city of Medellin, its destination, officials said.

The plane's black box recorders have been found, but there was no word on how long it would take to analyse them.

The dead included most of the team and 20 Brazilian journalists travelling to cover the match.

"I have just seen the plane and given the state it is in, it is a miracle that six people survived,' said Governor Luis Perez of Antioquia department, where the plane went down.

Colombia's civil aviation authority initially said 75 people were killed. But it later emerged that four people on the passenger manifest had not boarded the plane - a club official, a journalist, the mayor of the team's hometown and the speaker of the state assembly.

"It's one of those things in life. Only God knows why I ended up staying behind,' said Luciano Buligon, the mayor of Chapeco in southern Brazil.

Crying, Plinio Filho, the head of the club's advisory council, recalled the players telling him they were off to "chase a dream" as they left.

"The group was like a family. It was a group of friends, where everyone laughed a lot, even in defeat," he said.

Footage of the club on board the plane before take-off aired on TV channel Gigavision in Bolivia, where the team departed from the city of Santa Cruz after taking a commercial flight from Brazil.

Coach Mauro Stumpf told the TV network he hoped the plane would "bring (us) luck" like it did when the team flew with the same company to a quarter-final match last month.

The British Aerospace 146 airliner entered into operation in 1999 and previously belonged to two other airlines, a spokesman for the manufacturer said.

Specialist sites said the same plane was used two weeks ago to fly the Argentine national team with Messi on board to San Juan, Argentina for a World Cup qualifying match.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending experts along with representatives of the plane's manufacturer BAE Systems to Colombia to help with investigations.

The plane went down about 30 miles from Medellin, in a remote mountain area called Cerro Gordo.

"We found ourselves faced with a disastrous scene. The plane was completely destroyed," fire service captain Elkin Gonzalez said.

Rescuers and aviation authorities said the survivors were three players, two crew members and a journalist.

The team's lead goalkeeper, Marcos Danilo Padilha, 31, died on the way to hospital, the civil aviation authority said.

His last-minute save in the semi-final had sealed the team's place in the Copa Sudamericana final.

The journalists killed included six employees from the Brazilian affiliate of Fox Sports television. One of them, Mario Sergio, was a well-known announcer and former Brazilian international player.

The cup final first-leg had been scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia.

In an emotional gesture, Nacional called for Chapecoense to be awarded the cup.

Chapecoense is seen as one of the minnows of Brazilian club football.

After decades in the lower divisions, it returned to Brazil's top flight Serie A in 2014 for the first time since 1979.

"We have moved from a dream to a true nightmare," said Buligon, the mayor.

Last night thousands squeezed into Chapeco's cathedral and even more packed a stadium to mourn the death of 71 people in a plane crash, 19 of them members of the Chapecoense club who had been on the brink of soccer greatness.

"To lose (almost) all of them in such a tragic way, totally destroyed our city and each one of us," Carla Vilembrini said late Tuesday, standing outside Santo Antonio Cathedral. She was dressed like so many others - in the club's green and white jerseys.

The club was having the best season in its 43-year history, heading to the first of two matches in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the continent's No. 2 club tournament.

Distraught residents of this southern Brazilian city of 200,000 people, an agribusiness center near the Argentina border, wandered the streets around the stadium - known as Arena Conda - in stunned silence.

"The city is very quiet," businessman Cecilio Hans said. "People will only believe it once the bodies start to arrive."
On social media, haunting last photos showed the smiling players boarding the flight to Colombia for their match with Atletico Nacional.

In one photo, the team celebrated a last-minute save by goalkeeper Danilo only a week ago against the Argentine club San Lorenzo. The save guaranteed Chapecoense a spot in the final - and ultimately cost Danilo his life in the crash.

"I can't still believe it," Alan Heinz said inside the stadium, his body pressed against the fence that separates fans from the field. This time the field was filled by a religious service and prayers for the dead.

"I was preparing for the best day of my life, and now I don't know what my life will be after this," he said.

As recently as 2009, the club known as Chape was playing in Brazil's fourth division, but it won promotion to the top league in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s.

Victories over San Lorenzo and Independente - two of Argentina's fiercest squads - as well as the Colombian club Junior took the team to the Copa Sudamericana finals, the equivalent of the UEFA Europa League tournament.

Few of the players had an international profile, and none had any appearances with Brazil's glitzy national team. Most had played all over Brazil and Latin America. Only a few had ever reached Europe, like Cleber Santana, who played for Atletico Madrid in 2007-10.

Chape strikers Bruno Rangel and Kempes, both 34, were among the top scorers in the Brazilian league, with 10 and nine goals, respectively.

Coach Caio Junior is credited with Chape's quick rise, joining the club this year after guiding teams in the Middle East. Born Luiz Carlos Saroli, he coached numerous Brazilian teams, including Palmeiras, Flamengo and Botafogo.

He was among the dead. His son, Matheus Saroli, escaped because he didn't make the flight, saying in a Facebook post that he couldn't board "because I forgot my passport".
An Argentine player on the club, Alejandro Martinuccio, also missed the flight, because of an injury during a game, he told Argentina's La Red radio.

"I feel deep sadness. The only thing I can ask is prayers for the companions who were on the flight," he said.

"This is a very, very sad day for football," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. "At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends."

Brazilian President Michel Temer declared three days of official mourning, while soccer great Pele called it a "tragic loss". Brazilian champion Palmeiras asked the country's football confederation for permission to wear Chapecoense's jersey in its last match of the season.

Around the world, the sport paused to remember the victims.

Barcelona and Real Madrid held a minute of silence before their practice sessions during the day, and France's top two leagues observed a minute's silence at their recent games.

Medellin-based Atletico Nacional said it was asking the South American soccer confederation to give the Copa Sudamericana title to Chape as a tribute to the players who died.

Some of Brazil's top clubs said they wanted to lend players to Chape for the 2017 season. They also said the team should not be relegated to the second division as it recovers from the disaster.

"The dream is not over. We will fight back when it's time," said Chape's acting club president, Gelson Della Costa.

"Now it's time to take care of the families," he said.