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Plane Carrying 81, Including Soccer Team, Crashes in Colombia

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A law enforcement vehicle is seen in a file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

A plane carrying 72 passengers and nine crew members was involved in an accident near Rionegro, Colombia, according to the country’s civil aviation department.

The plane declared an emergency between the municipalities of La Ceja and La Union, according to a statement from Colombian aviation officials.

There could be six possible survivors, the statement said.

The plane took off from Bolivia’s Viru Viru airport at 6:18 p.m. local time, according to Manuel Palamas, an air controller at the airport.

Officials didn’t specify what happened to the plane but did say that the wounded were being transported to assistance centers.

The mayor of nearby Medellin said on Twitter that he is on his way to the accident site.

Satellite images show that scattered showers and thunderstorms have been present in the region over the last 12 hours — though no big weather makers, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.

There likely would have been turbulence in the region due to intermittent thunderstorms and winds from around the mountains in the region, Guy says.

A statement from nearby Jose Maria Cordova airport says the accident site can only be accessed by land because of weather conditions.

The Colombian Air Force had to abort a mission to the accident site due to inclement weather, according to Colombian officials.

The aviation department’s statement said that passengers belonged to a Brazilian soccer club called Chapecoense.

Chapecoense was due to play the Colombian club team Atletico Nacional in the South American cup Finals on Wednesday.

Nacional tweeted it “deeply regrets and is in solidarity with Chapecoense for the accident that occurred is awaiting for more information from the authorities.”