Pilot declared ‘no fuel’ before Brazilian football team plane crash
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.
In his horrifying final call, 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”.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 that 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 Monday night, 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 “stabilizing” 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.
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.