- Title: Preparations underway in Chapeco for Chapecoense players' funeral amid mourning
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: PHOTO OF PLAYER, GILBERTO PACE THOMAS, WEARING WINGS PHOTO OF ANOTHER TEAM MEMBER IN MEMORIAL
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 14:51
- Keywords: Chapecoense funerals Colombia plane crash Copa Sudamericana
- Location: CHAPECO, BRAZIL
- City: CHAPECO, BRAZIL
- Country: Colombia
- Reuters ID: LVA0025B6ZCJR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Preparations were underway on Friday (December 2) as soccer fans prepared to say good-bye to the Chapecoense players killed in a Colombian plane crash earlier this week.
Mourners continued to hang signs and black ribbons in the city of Chapeco as technicians worked to prepare the field for an open-air wake to be held on Sunday (December 4).
Meanwhile, fans poured into the stadium to pay their respects.
"It is very sad but the memory of a beautiful tribute and the integration of our Latin American people will remain. The most important thing to take from this tragedy is the union among those of us of Latin America. Truly we know the feeling of the phrase "we are all brothers". I believe this is beautiful," said fan, Eder Blases.
"I still don't believe it. It hasn't sunk in. Today I am calmer and I stopped crying a little but I had to come here and make this tribute and calm myself because tomorrow I will not be able to come. That is all I have to say," said another fan, Lorisa Quesa.
The disaster on Monday night killed 71 people and shocked soccer fans the world over. The LAMIA Bolivia BAe146 airliner apparently ran out of fuel, lost electrical power and was preparing for an emergency landing as it crashed.
Only six people survived, including three members of the soccer squad en route to the Copa Sudamericana final, the biggest game in its history.
The tragedy plunged Latin America's largest nation, Brazil, into mourning as it reels from a deep recession and political crisis.
A convoy carrying the 64 dead Brazilians will leave the funeral home in Medellin later on Friday for the journey along a mountain road to Rionegro airport. From there, they will be flown back to Brazil.
The Brazilian Air Force said three Hercules C-130 transport planes were ready to fly from Manaus to pick up the coffins that are scheduled to arrive early on Saturday morning for funeral services in Chapeco, the club's small farming hometown in southern Brazil.
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