Grieving Brazilian town honours plane crash victims

Rain-soaked mourners gathered at the stadium memorial where a tent with coffins underneath stretched across the football field.

Thousands of people have attended a service at a football stadium in Brazil to pay tribute to those who died in a plane crash.

The bodies of the Brazilian passengers, including a local football team, arrived at the venue in Chapeco after being flown home from Colombia.

Coffins carrying the victims arrived in the city on Saturday afternoon for a short ceremony at the airport.

It was presided over by Brazilian president Michel Temer, where he posthumously honoured the victims and offered condolences to their families.

Fans came together under heavy rain at the Chapecoense stadium
Image Caption:Fans came together under heavy rain at the Chapecoense stadium

People lined the streets in the pouring rain to watch the funeral procession, which ended with a memorial at the club’s stadium.

President Temer told reporters: “This event, as you know, shook the whole country. This rain must be Saint Peter crying.”

A vigil for those who died aboard the fatal flight carrying the Chapecoense team.

Dozens of fans kept vigil overnight at Chapecoense stadium, which was draped with banners and the team’s colours – green and white.

Some of those who had turned up said the memorial would provide closure for the town.

Cleusa Eichner said: “I can still see those players entering with their kids in their arms. I’d rather keep that image in my head, hold on to that happiness, than replace it with nothing.”

Relatives mourn over a coffin of one of the team's players
Image Caption:Relatives mourn over a coffin of one of the team’s players

In response to the outpourings from fans and clubs around the world, Chapecoense hung a huge black banner from the outer wall of its stadium.

“We looked for one word to thank all for the kindness and we found many,” it read, followed by the words “thank you” in more than a dozen languages.

The passengers on the tragic flight before takeoff.
       Image Caption:The passengers on the tragic flight before take-off

The British Aerospace 146 came down in a mountainous area on Monday, killing 71 people including most of the Chapecoense side and journalists, five Bolivians, a Venezuelan and Paraguayan.

There were just six survivors – two Bolivian crew members, a journalist and three players en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in the Chapeco club’s history.

The pilot of the LaMia airline radioed to air traffic controllers that he was running out of fuel and needed to make an emergency landing, according to a recording leaked to Colombian media


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