UPDATE (6:40 p.m. ET): Officials now say that 71 of the 77 passengers have died in a tragic plane crash Monday night near Medellín, Colombia. Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense was on the plane.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Chapecoense plane crash has shaken the sports world, but fate might have prevented another seismic tragedy from taking place.
Lionel Messi and Argentina’s national soccer team flew from Buenos Aires to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on the same chartered plane, which crashed Monday night near Medellin, Colombia, Spanish newspapers Marca and Sport reported, citing Argentinian media outlets. The British Aerospace 146 plane operated by LAMIA Bolivia, registration CP-2933 carried Argentina safely to Brazil on Nov. 11.
Monday’s crash killed 75 of the 81 passengers on board, including 22 Chapecoense players, who were flying to Colombia to face Ateltico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. Investigators believe the plane experienced electrical problems before crashing, according to The Associated Press.
Venezuela’s national soccer team also used the plane in the past.
Citing planespotters.net, The Independent’s Samuel Lovett reports the LAMIA Bolivia RJ85 plane first took flight in 1999.
As the soccer world mourns the Chapecoense plane crash, we shudder at the thought of how deep its grief would have been if those electrical problems had doomed the plane 20 days prior.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images