The football fraternity was thrown into mourning when the news broke that the plane conveying Argentine striker, Emiliano Sala to his new club Cardiff City had gone missing.
As our hearts go out to the families of Sala and the pilot, we remember similar incidents that threw the soccer fraternity into mourning.
1. On the evening of November 28, 2016, LaMia Flight 2933, which had 77 people on board, including almost the entire first team and managerial staff of Chapecoense, a Brazilian football club, crashed as it approached Medellin, Colombia.
The plane ran out of fuel after the pilot skipped a refuelling stop. When they approached the airport, the pilot informed air traffic controllers that they needed to be granted priority landing because they had run out of fuel. Unfortunately, another plane with a fuel leakage problem had already been granted priority landing. So, they were asked to wait for seven minutes. Sadly, the plane went down some minutes later. There were six survivors including three players.
2. It was on the evening of April 27, 1993, the Zambian National Team known as the Copper Bullets were on their way to Dakar, Senegal to take on the Teranga Lions of Senegal in a U. S. A. 94 World Cup qualifier.
The plane was a DHC-5 Buffalo from the Zambian Air Force. There were 25 passengers and five crew members. They were scheduled to make three refuelling stopovers before they hit Dakar. After the first stop in Brazzaville, Congo, some engine problems were noted. Yet, the flight continued to Libreville, Gabon for the second refuelling. The third refuelling was to be done in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, but it never happened. As soon as they took off from Libreville, the left engine caught fire. The pilot wanted to shut down the engine on fire, but instead, shut down the right engine. The plane, having lost all power during the climb from the Libreville Airport, fell into the Atlantic Ocean. Some reports have it that the pilot’s error was due to fatigue while others claim that it was possible that the dashboard did not correctly signal which engine was on fire. There were no survivors.
3. Manchester United had eliminated the Red Stars of Belgrade on February 8, 1958, to advance to the semi-finals of the European Cup. On their way home, they stopped to refuel in Munich, Germany.
Their pilots, James Thain and Kenneth Rayment, made two failed attempts to take-off because of boost surging in the left engine. In order to meet their schedule, Captain Thain rejected an overnight stay in Munich. Meanwhile, snow had started falling, causing a layer of slush to form at the end of the runway. The third attempt at take-off saw the plane hit the slush, plough through a fence beyond the end of the runway, and the left wing was torn off after hitting a house. Out of the 44 persons on board, only 21 survived.
Written by Delight Caesar
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