One of the survivors of the plane crash that killed 19 members of the Chapecoense football team has revealed that he escaped with his life by following safety procedures, including remaining in the brace position at the moment of impact.
Erwin Tumiri, one of the two flight crew members to survive and six people who were found alive overall, has talked the media through the final minutes on LaMia Flight CP2933, which crashed in the mountainous region outside the Colombian city of Medellin that left 71 people dead.
The disaster has prompted a full investigation that involves Colombian, Brazilian, Bolivian and British authorities, with the plane’s two ‘Black Boxes’ being flown to the United Kingdom for analysis to see what actually caused the plane to crash on Monday night. Aviation authorities have already suggested that the plane ran out of fuel after being put into a holding pattern, having already exceeded its maximum time and distance of travel.
Mr Tumiri, a Bolivian native, survived the crash along with colleague Ximena Suarez, have recalled the final moments on the plane and how they managed to survive.
“Many passengers got up from their seats and started yelling,” Mr Tumiri told local reporters in the hospital near Medellin where the survivors are being treated. “I put the bag between my legs and went into brace position as recommended.”
According to Colombian officials, Ms Suarez, 28, remembered the lights going out less than a minute before the moment of impact, which would add weight to the theory that the plane ran out of fuel and caused an electrical failure.
“The plane went out completely and had a sharp decline, followed by a big impact,” she said.
Ms Suarez was found two hours after the crash, according to El Colombiano newspaper, and had injuries to her legs.