Brazilians report panic on plane that took emergency landing just before the flight of Chapecoense
A commercial flight by the company VivaColombia, made an unscheduled landing at Medellín's José María Córdova airport at around the same time that the Chapecoense plane was approaching.
The plane from VivaColombia, which had left Bogotá for the island of San Andrés, did not reach its destination due to an emergency and had to land at the nearest airport. The Chapecoense aircraft, operated by the Bolivian company Lamia, failed to land and fell minutes later near the Medellín airport. It is not yet clear whether the emergency of the commercial flight someway affected the accident that killed over 70 people, including players and staff of the the Brazilian club. There were at least three Brazilians on this flight. Despite the fright, the passengers are well and after the setback have managed to reach their destination. Maysa Ramos, 27, who is on vacation in Colombia, said: "Our flight was confusing and had a lot of turbulence."
The Brazilians said that, in the middle of the flight, the pilot entered in contact with the passengers informing about a "gasoline leak" and saying that it would be necessary to make an emergency landing in Medellín. Already on the ground, passengers had to wait on the plane for about 45 minutes and then were taken to a waiting room at the airport. Searching for information, the Brazilians heard from an airport employee that their flight had been given priority for landing, over the plane carrying the delegation of Chapecoense, which had fallen.
Maysa, who was born in Maranhão but lives in Uberlândia, said: "The message she passed was: 'it was your flight's fault'. I was very puzzled, she needed to tell me about it three times because I did not believe it, we knew the plane had crashed, but we could not believe it was because of our plane. The police reported that unfortunately they could not land because we were already on the emergency priority. They had to wait for my plane to reach the ground... In that wait, they lost contact with the tower and the plane crashed, and if they had landed first? Maybe it would be our plane running in the air without gas! It was chaos. No one knows for sure what happened, everyone with fear, wanting to catch another plane, children crying, people screaming... "
The Colombian authorities, however, did not confirm a direct connection between the two cases.