Chapecoense crash survivor Alan Ruschel thanks well-wishers in video

Alan Ruschel is one of three Chapecoense players to survive last week's plane crash in Colombia

BY Cian Roche 16:00 Thursday 8 December 2016, 16:00 8 Dec 2016

Image: IRN

 

One of the Brazilian footballers who survived a plane crash that killed most of his team has appeared in a video to thank people for giving him strength.

Alan Ruschel is one of three Chapecoense players among the six people who made it out alive after the jet came down in Colombia last week.

Helped to his seat and appearing in a hospital gown with plaster on his nose, Mr Ruschel said: "Hello people from Brazil and the entire world who have been following my recovery.

"I wanted to tell you my recovery is going very well and soon I'll be back in Brazil to finish my recovery.

"I wanted to thank everybody for giving me strength and for the affection I have received, so I wanted to thank everybody. Many thanks."

The video was released by Hospital San Vicente Fundacion de Rionegro, where the player is being treated.

The 27-year-old defender, who has had spinal surgery, was pictured before take-off smiling alongside goalkeeper Danilo, who died.

He was among 71 people killed as the team headed to play the biggest match in its history, the Copa Sudamericana final.

Chapecoense had just made it into Brazil's top league and were enjoying a fairytale season.

In the moments before the crash, the pilot radioed to say he was running out of fuel and needed to make an emergency landing.

The other surviving players are goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, who has had a leg amputated, and defender Helio Neto, who was being treated in intensive care after suffering severe injuries, including to his head and lungs.

Gustavo Vargas, head of the airline La Mia, was detained for questioning this week, along with a mechanic and a secretary.

Prosecutors say the initial investigation is looking into possible criminal failure to follow safety procedures.

Chapecoense have been awarded the Copa Sudamericana championship in tribute. 

The team had been set to play two matches against Colombia's Atletico Nacional in the final of Latin America's number two club tournament.

Former Brazil star Ronaldinho and ex-Argentina star Juan Riquelme are among those who have reportedly offered to play for Chapecoense as they attempt to recover from the tragedy and avoid possible relegation.

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