Plane may have 'run out of fuel' before crashing in Colombia, recording suggests

71 people were killed and only six survived the crash in a mountainous area yesterday morning

Plane may have 'run out of fuel' before crashing in Colombia, recording suggests

Picture by Luis Benavides AP/Press Association Images

The pilot of a plane carrying a Brazilian football team said he had run out of fuel moments before crashing in Colombia, according to a recording.

71 people died when the aircraft came down in a mountainous area, including most of the Chapecoense side and 20 Brazilian journalists on board.

There were six survivors - three players, two Bolivian crew members and a journalist.

The pilot radioed to air traffic controllers that he was running out of fuel and needed to make an emergency landing, according to the co-pilot of another plane in the area.

One of the footballers, goalkeeper Jackson Follman, has undergone surgery to have his right leg amputated and is now recovering. 

Defender Helio Neto is being treated in intensive care after suffering severe trauma to his skull, thorax and lungs.

His fellow defender, Alan Ruschel, has undergone spinal surgery. 

The three other survivors were Brazilian journalist Rafael Valmorbida, air stewardess Ximena Suarez and flight technician Erwin Tumiri.

The LaMia Airlines plane, which departed from Santa Cruz in Bolivia, was carrying the side - based in Chapeco in southern Brazil - to Colombia for the biggest game in the club's history.

They had been due to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Medellin's Atletico Nacional on Wednesday.

The team had taken a commercial flight from Brazil to Santa Cruz before making the charter connection.

The British Aerospace 146 came down as it approached Colombia's second-largest city, Medellin on Monday.

Two "black box" flight recorders have been recovered from the crash site on a hillside near the town of La Union.

One local resident said the aircraft appeared to have lost power.    

Nancy Munoz said: "It came over my house, but there was no noise, the engine must have gone."

A Colombian military source earlier told the AFP news agency that the plane may have run out of fuel.

The source said: "It is very suspicious that despite the impact there was no explosion. That reinforces the theory of the lack of fuel."