Colombia plane crash: Survivors remain in hospital

Medellin, Dec 1 (IANS) Survivors of the Colombia air disaster continue to remain in hospital as they recovered from the worst plane crash this year.

Six people were pulled alive from the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane that crashed into a hillside near Medellin on Monday, reports Xinhua.

Three were players from Brazilian football club Chapecoense, while a Brazilian journalist and two flight staff also survived.

The most critical case is that of goalkeeper Jakson Follmann, who has had one leg partially amputated and is in danger of losing the other.

Defender Helio Zampier was the last to be rescued when he was hauled from the debris six hours after the crash. Rescue teams said he had trauma to his skull, thorax and lungs, and was suffering from hypothermia.

The 31-year-old centre-back, also known as Neto, underwent a chest drainage operation. Neto has shown good circulatory and neurological progress, doctors said on Wednesday. He is expected to undergo further procedures to close wounds in his legs to avoid infections. Neto also suffered fractures in his legs as a result of the impact of the crash.

Left-back Alan Ruschel had surgery on a fractured vertebra and is understood to be no longer at risk of being paraplegic. Chapecoense said the 27-year-old was showing normal movement in his arms and legs.

Goalkeeper Jakson Follmann, the survivor in the most critical state, had his right leg amputated below the knee. He will require further operations to treat muscle injures and vascular trauma and could also lose his left leg, according to media reports. He is breathing without assistance in the intensive care unit of the San Vicente hospital in Rio Negro.

Journalist Rafael Henzel suffered trauma to his thorax, broken ribs as well as injuries to his arms and legs. The impact of the crash also affected the 43-year-old’s lungs. The Globo newspaper said he was responding well to treatment and was breathing without assistance.

Flight attendant Ximena Suarez suffered leg fractures and injuries to her arms and legs but is in a stable condition, with no damage to vital organs, according to Colombian news sites Caracol and El Colombiano.

Another flight attendant Erwin Tumiri has minor injuries but is recovering under the observation of doctors. The 25-year-old said he survived the crash by putting a bag between his legs and forming a foetal position that is recommended in accidents.

–IANS

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