Chapecoense Defender Takes First Steps After Plane Crash That Killed 71
Chapecoense player Alan Ruschel, who was communicating with only gestures last week after surviving the plane crash that killed 71 people, has taken his first steps in hospital.
The 27-year-old defender was the first survivor to be rescued from the mountainside crash site in Colombia, suffering multiple fractures.
A video has since been released showing him walking with support and giving a thumbs up before delivering a message.
He says in the video:
Thank you everyone, everyone worried about my recovery. This is Alan Ruschel.
I wanted to tell you that I am recovering very well. I will soon be back in Brazil to finish recovering.
I want to thank you for all of your support, for all of the caring messages that I received. Thank you everyone. Thank you very much.
Seventy-one people, including 19 players and staff, were killed in last Monday’s crash on the way to Colombia for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.
Investigations are continuing into the cause of the accident but a recording suggests the plane was out of fuel moments before the crash outside Medellin.
The club, who were on their way to play Colombian club Atletico Nacional in the two-legged final of Latin America’s No.2 club event, have since been crowned winners of the Copa Sudamericana by South American football confederation Conmebol, the BBC reports.
Our thoughts are with Ruschel, his family, and everyone affected by the devastating crash.