As the world still mourns the deaths of at least 71 people who perished in a horrific plane crash on the outskirts of Medellin in Colombia, the tragedy reminds some of past air disasters. The chartered aircraft was carrying 77 passengers, including members of Brazil's soccer team Chapecoense. The team was headed to Colombia to participate in the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. Aside from team members and crew, several reps from the press lost their lives as well.
From the 1940's to 1950's
In November of 1948, Czechoslovakia lost five members from its men's national ice hockey team when their plane plunged into the English Channel.
In 1949, while returning from Lisbon, Portugal, the Italian soccer club Torino F.C.'s aircraft flew into a church in Turin, Italy, killing all on board. Six Egyptian fencing teammates died when their flight dove into the Atlantic Ocean in 1958.
The 1960's was turbulent in more ways than one
The entire U.S. Figure Skating team died on February 16, 1961 when their plane crashed in Belgium. The athletes were on their way to Prague, Czech Republic to take part in the World Figure Skating Championship games. Earlier that same year, eight members from the Chilean first-division soccer team died from a plane crash in the Las Lastimas Mountains. On September 26, 1962, the plane carrying the Bolivian soccer club The Strongest disappeared. The next day, it was announced that the wreckage had been found near Viloco. There were no survivors.
The 1970's was an aviation nightmare
The Wichita State football team lost 14 players on October 2, 1970 when their plane crashed in Clear Creek County, Colorado. The team was en route to play a game against Utah State University.
Perhaps one of the most well-known #Sports tragedies is that of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, which was the subject of the 2006 film "We are Marshall," starring Matthew McConaughey. On November 14, 1970, 36 players from the university lost their lives when their plane plummeted into a hill in Ceredo, West Virginia. Fourteen players from the University of Evansville basketball team along with coach Bobby Watson died soon after lift-off from Nashville International Airport in 1977.
There have been at least 20 air disasters, including the latest in Colombia, wherein team members, family members, coaches, cheer leaders and crew have lost their lives. Unfortunately, every decade since the beginning of commercial air #Travel has had to endure such tragedies. #history