Medellin (Colombia), Dec 3 (IANS) Coffins of the 64 Brazilians killed in the crash of an airliner transporting the Chapecoense soccer club were taken to the Rionegro military base outside Medellin, where they were honoured with a military tribute before their repatriation.
The coffins, covered with white flags bearing the shield of the team from Chapeco, were received on the airfield by members of the Colombian Air Force on Friday, reports Efe.
The Colombian military formed a guard of honour at the airfield to receive the deceased Brazilians.
One flag of Colombia and another of Brazil, each tied with the black crepe of mourning, waved in the breeze on the airfield of the military base next to Jose Maria Cordova International Airport, where the plane of Bolivia’s Lania airlines was headed when in went down.
The Brazilian fatalities were 19 Chapecoense football players and 25 others, including coaches, technical personnel and guests of the club. The list of Brazilian casualties also includes a group of 20 sportswriters on their way to cover the Copa Sudamericana final that the club from Santa Catarina state was going to contest last Friday in Medellin against Atletico Nacional.
The funeral cortege left Medellin and traveled more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) to reach the military base, while people standing on both sides of the highway waved white handkerchiefs to bid the deceased farewell.
Some of the sportswriters who were killed will be repatriated in airplanes chartered by Fox channel and the Globe TV channel where they worked, according to the authorities.