MEDELLIN, Colombia – Colombian aviation authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the aircraft that crashed in Colombia leaving 71 dead, including majority of the Brazilian Chapecoense football club, had no fuel at the time of impact.
“We can clearly state that the aircraft had no fuel at the time of impact so we started an investigation process to establish the cause,” Secretary for the Air Safety Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics Freddy Bonilla said at a press conference.
The plane belonging to Bolivian company Lamia crashed Monday only 17 kilometers (11 miles) from the head of the runway of Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport, which serves Medellin, leaving 71 dead and six survivors.
The lack of fuel is one of the hypotheses used to explain the accident at Cerro Gordo in the jurisdiction of La Union, a town near Medellin.
Bonilla said according to international standards an aircraft must have enough fuel to cover its route and have an additional reserve and an alternative airport to land at if necessary.
He explained that this reserve can give the aircraft an additional flight autonomy of 30 minutes.
Bonilla also said that the weather conditions in Medellin were optimal for the plane to make its approach and landing.
Meanwhile, Director of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Carlos Eduardo Valdes told journalists that 59 bodies have already been identified, including 52 Brazilians, five Bolivians, a Paraguayan and a Venezuelan.
“Causes of death in all cases were severe bone and visceral trauma characteristic of the phenomenon of fall,” explained Valdes.