'Nobody even told us to put on our seat belts': Journalist who survived Colombian plane disaster says those on board had NO IDEA they were about to crash 

  • Brazilian radio journalist Rafael Henzel survived last month's fatal crash 
  • Nineteen players from Chapecoense were among the 71 killed in Colombia
  • Henzel claims passengers had no idea that the plane was about to go down 

A Brazilian footballer and a journalist who miraculously survived the Colombia air crash which killed 71 people have boarded a plane back to their homeland.

Members of the Brazilian Air Force carried Chapecoense player Alan Rushell and journalist Rafael Henzel on stretchers onto a plane in Rionegro, Colombia, today.

They are two of the six survivors of the LaMia airlines charter that crashed into the mountains outside Medellin on November 28 killing most of Brazilian football team Chapecoense. 

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Members of the Brazilian Air Force carry Chapecoense player Alan Rushell, who survived the crash on November 28, onto a plane departing to Brazil today

Brazilian journalist Rafael Henzel was able to smile as he was carried to the aircraft, which will take him back to his homeland

Speaking from his hospital bed before being taken to the aircraft, radio journalist Henzel told the Fantastico program on Sunday night: 'At no point did someone from the cabin or the crew tell us, "Put on your seatbelts,''

'We just kept flying without any idea of what was about to happen.'

The ill-fated flight took off from Santa Cruz, Bolivia and crashed near the airport in Medellin, Colombia on November 28. 

Only six of the 77 passengers on board survived, and the dead included 19 members of the Chapecoense soccer club from southern Brazil, as well as 20 of the journalists covering the team.  

Henzel, pictured being lifted onto the aircraft today, said those on board the flight had no idea they were about to crash

Alan Rushell is lifted onto the plane by members of the Brazilian Air Force today

Colombian authorities say they believe the plane crashed due to a lack of fuel. There were just six survivors

Nineteen players from Chapecoense were among the 71 killed when their plane crashed down on its way from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Medellin, Colombia last month

The six survivors were two Bolivian crew members and four Brazilians — Henzel and players Alan Ruschel, Follmann and Neto.

 Investigations have been launched in Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia, with Colombian authorities saying they believe a lack of fuel caused the crash.

Henzel said that toward the end of the flight, passengers around him began asking how long it would be before they landed.

Henzel is still in Colombia recovering from last month's fatal crash. He said passengers did not know what the plane was about to crash

Henzel suffered seven broken ribs, but said he feels lucky to be alive today

Ten minutes, was the response from the crew, he said. 'Then suddenly, the lights went off and the engines went off.'

He said at that point, everyone rushed back to their seats and fastened their seatbelts, before the plane crashed into a hillside.

Henzel said that when he awoke, there were emergency workers around him and he was in immense pain from what turned out to be seven broken ribs.  

He said he believed he only manage to survive because he woke up just as emergency workers passed by

The team were on their way to compete in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional

He called out to the colleagues who had been sitting on each side of him, but they had died.

He said he believed he only manage to survive because he woke up just as emergency workers passed by.

Henzel said he was sickened to learn the cause of the accident was likely a lack of fuel.

'People died because of a lack of judgment,' he said. 'That is revolting.' 


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