A Brazilian footballer found out he was going to become a father just days before he was killed in a plane crash which claimed the lives of 75 people.
Striker Tiago da Rocha Vieira, known as Thiaguinho, was travelling with Brazil’s Chapecoense team to the biggest game in the club’s history when their aircraft smashed into a Colombian mountain.
Only six people - including three players - survived the tragedy, which has been blamed on an electrical fault.
Just days before the tragedy, 22-year-old Thiaguinho was filmed discovering the news that his wife was expecting a baby boy and celebrating with his teammates.
The video of the footballer jumping with joy was posted online on Tuesday by family members, after it was confirmed he died in the crash.
Goalkeeper Danilo Padilha was found alive in the mangled remains of the jet, which crashed on its way from Bolivia to the city of Medellin in Colombia, but died in hospital. Shortly before the flight, Padilha posed for selfies with team-mate Alan Ruschel, 27, who told fans: ‘We’re coming, Colombia.’
Ruschel was pulled alive from the wreckage along with goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, defender Helio Hermito Zampier, journalist Rafael Valmorbida and two crew members, officials said.
Hospital staff said Ruschel was in the most serious condition after suffering a spinal fracture. Last night his wife Moa wrote on Instagram: ‘Thank God Alan is in the hospital and in a stable state. We are praying for all who have not yet been rescued yet and for all the families.’
Colombia’s worst air disaster in two decades came as the team from Brazil’s top league flew to face Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, South America’s equivalent of the Europa League.
Chapecoense players who did not travel to the match were on Tuesday coming to terms with the loss of their team-mates. Striker Alejandro Martinuccio told an Argentinian radio station that an injury which prevented him from playing in the match saved his life. Matheus Saroli, the son of Chapecoense manager Caio Junior - who was killed - revealed that he was due to board the ill-fated flight but forgot his passport.
The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline, declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10pm local time on Monday because of an electrical failure, according to Colombia’s aviation agency. It went down at 10.15pm.
Officials confirmed that the aircraft’s two black boxes had been found.
UK air accident investigators have dispatched a small team to Colombia to help with the inquiry because the aircraft was manufactured in the UK. The plane that crashed is said to have earlier this month ferried the Argentina team from Brazil to Colombia between World Cup qualifier matches.
In addition to players, coaches and staff, 21 journalists had been on board the plane.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos tweeted his condolences, posting: ‘Solidarity with the families of the victims and Brazil.’
England footballer Wayne Rooney tweeted: ‘Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends.’
Chapecoense’s opponents in the Copa Sudamericana final have called for the Brazilian club to be awarded the trophy as a mark of respect.