Airline chief arrested in Chapecoense air crash inquiry

The authorities in Bolivia have arrested the head of the airline involved in a crash last week that killed 71 people, including most of the Brazilian football team, Chapecoense.

Gustavo Vargas, a retired air force general, has been detained as part of an investigation into the crash.

The plane, operated by the tiny LaMia airline, was taking the team to Colombia when it ran out of fuel and a Bolivian official says she warned the pilot of the problem before departure adding that the long flight between southern Bolivia and Medellin was at the limit of the plane’s maximum range

The official, Celia Castedo, has now sought asylum in Brazil, saying she suffered threats and abuse and in a leaked tape, the pilot, Miguel Quiroga, can be heard warning of a “total electric failure” and “lack of fuel”.

Her asylum process could take a year to be processed according to the authorities in Brazil who have been asked by Bolivian Government Minister Carlos Romero to turn her back.

Six people survived the crash. One of them, crew member Erwin Tumuri, said an initial stop for refuelling in the northern Bolivian city of Cobija had been dropped by the pilot.

There was no warning to the crew or the passengers that the plane was facing electrical or fuel problems, 

 

 

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Eric Njiru

Homeboyz Radio Sports and Technology reporter.

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