CHAPECOENSE PLANE CRASH: FINAL MOMENTS OF CRASH SAW OCCUPANTS SCREAMING IN TERROR
A CREW member on board the Colombian plane that crashed killing 71 people has described how he only survived because he followed safety procedures.
Fox Sports Argentina reported Erwin Tumiri as saying: “I put the bags in between my legs to form the foetal position that is recommended for accidents.
“During the situation, many stood up from their seats and they started to shout.”
Another survivor, stewardess Ximena Suarez, said the lights went out as the jet started to plunge towards the ground.
“I don’t remember more at the moment,” she told Deportes RCN.
Today it emerged pilot Miguel ‘Micky’ Quiroga lost his own father in an aviation disaster when he was still a baby.
And it was also revealed after he died along with nearly the entire Chapecoense football squad, that he had just become a father for the third time three weeks ago.
The Bolivian Lamia airline captain, 36, has been hailed a hero over reports he may have dumped the British-made BAe146 plane’s fuel moments before impact to stop it going up in a ball of flames.
He was married to the daughter of an ex-Brazilian Senator, Roger Pinto, and was in the middle of constructing a new home in Epitaciolandia near the Brazilian border for his wife and three children.
Devoted friends have claimed the friendly and giving family man always thought of others ahead of himself.
Their testimony comes as it emerged Micky tried to change the flight arrangements for the Brazilian footballers he was taking to the Copa Sudamericana final in Colombia.
He even phoned the mayor of Chapeco, home of the team, to help him gain permission to fly from Sao Paulo in Brazil directly to Medellin Airport, but he was turned down by authorities.
Instead the team had to fly out to Bolivia safely before boarding the doomed plane.
DOOMED PLANE AND LATE PILOT
Those who knew Micky said that rather than putting him off becoming a pilot, losing his father Orlando at such a young age spurred him on to follow the same noble career.
But tragically, he has now suffered the same fate after being killed when the plane bound for Medellin International Airport in Colombia plummeted to earth.
While air crash investigators believe the disaster was caused by electrical faults, they are working on the theory that it may have ran out of fuel altogether.
JUST BEFORE TAKEOFF
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLANE CRASH
There are steps you can take to increase your chance of surviving in an aviation disaster.
1. Dress comfortably.
Wearing sensible, non-loose clothing and shoes will not only keep you warm if the plane crashes in a cold area. The extra layers can shield you from bumps, burns and bruises and make it easier to escape the wreckage.
2. Take a back seat.
Passengers in the tail of the aircraft have 40% higher survival rates than those at the front.
3. Read the safety card and listen to the safety speech.
It sounds obvious but the safety procedures have been proven to save lives.
4. Keep your seat belt on.
Being secured in your seat can prevent serious injury when the plane hits the ground
5. Brace for impact
If the seat in front of you is close enough to reach, place one hand palm-down on the back of that seat, then cross the other hand palm-down over the first hand. Rest your forehead against your hands, according to Wikihow.
Leave your luggage, get out quickly, follow the crew members’ instructions and try to get 500 metres upwind from the wreckage
FINAL MOMENTS ALIVE
Photos from the scene suggest the engines were switched off when the plane crashed.
Meanwhile, the daughter of a popular journalist has been named as one of the victims of the doomed plane.
Columbian writer Jorge Arias confirmed his girl Sissy had been working on the jet.
The 29-year-old was a member of the crew and her father published the sad news on social media with the message: “I hope God will keep her in his glory. My girl, I love you, I loved you and I will always love you.
“Love, I do not know what my life will be without you. Sisyta, my girl forever.”
Sissy was the co-pilot of the plane which plummeted to the ground. As well as training to become a pilot, she was also known in the country for working as a model.
Wreckage from the tragic crash was strewn over a wide area of dense forest
At the crash scene near the town of La Union in wooded highlands outside Medellin, dozens of bodies were laid out and covered with sheets around the wreckage.
The tail end of the plane virtually disintegrated in the crash. Rain hampered dozens of rescuers as they combed the muddy and forested area.
In addition to players, coaches and staff, 21 journalists had been on board the plane to cover the match, Brazilian news organisations said.
“We felt a loud, strong thud,” said German Lopez, 44, who grows flowers on the mountain range and could see the white wreckage from his kitchen.
“We ran to search for survivors. I saw someone die on a stretcher but helped save someone who was unconscious. I started to cry. I didn’t want my home known for this.”