Rio de Janeiro, Dec 1 (IANS) Brazilian soccer club Chapeceonse has said a mass wake for players and staff, who died in a plane crash earlier this week, would be put on hold until all the bodies were recovered.
Nineteen Chapeceonse players and several staff members perished when a chartered plane carrying the team plunged into a hillside near Medellin, Colombia, late on Monday night, reports Xinhua.
Just six of the 71 passengers on board the British Aerospace CP-2933 aircraft survived. Authorities said the cause of the accident was still unclear.
The Brazilian club was scheduled to play Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first of a two-game Copa Sudamericana final on Wednesday.
Emergency crews were still working on Wednesday to recover and identify bodies at the site of the crash in La Union, about 60km from Medellin.
“At this moment the bodies are still being identified. We don’t know when exactly the bodies will be able to return. It can’t be rushed and we can’t set dates,” Chapecoense director Gelson Della Costa said on Wednesday.
“It is our wish for all of the bodies to be there (at the wake) and we are asking families for their permission.”
The tragedy has deeply impacted Chapeceonse’s home of Chapeco, a city of less than 200,000 people in Brazil’s southern state of Santa Catarina.
In the past two days thousands of mourners have congregated at the club’s Conda Arena, many wearing the team’s green and white colors. Most businesses and schools have remained closed.
Costa, who lost several of his fellow directors in the accident, said as many as 100,000 people were expected to attend the wake.
Chapeco city officials said that police and emergency services were already preparing for the event.