Published in TEN Eyewitness News on December 1, 2016
It’s an explanation so simple it makes the loss of 71 lives seem even more tragic.
Leaked audio from the charter flight that killed 71 people in Colombia has revealed the plane was simply ‘out of fuel’ when it crashed into a mountainside on Monday.
On the recordings, the pilot of LaAia Airlines Flight 933 can be heard warning that they have a “total electrical failure” and are “out of fuel”.
Before the audio cuts out, Medellin Air Traffic Control places the aircraft at 8.5 nautical miles from the runway and 9,000ft (2743m) above ground level.
There was no explosion when the plane came down which suggests lack of fuel was the cause of the crash, but one Colombian military source told AFP the absence of it was “suspicious”.
It is not yet known if the lack of fuel was because of a leak in the aircraft or if there was none on board.
Investigators are yet to announce a single cause for the tragedy and a full analysis is expected to take months.
The Brazilian first grade Chapecoense football club had 19 players among those who died.
The team were to play a cup final on Wednesday evening, but instead, fans are gathering at the stadium for a memorial event.
Twenty journalists were also killed.
Flight technician Erwin Tumiri, one of only six who survived, told Colombian media that following safety protocol saved his life.
“Many stood up and started shouting,” he said.
“I put the suitcases between my legs and assumed the brace position.”