Bolivian Government Officially Blames Pilot, Airline for Chapecoense Disaster

Although they haven't listed the exact cause of the crash, the Bolivian government is officially blaming the pilot, Miguel Quiroga, and the charter airline in a new report.

by Brian Blickenstaff
21 December 2016, 5:21pm

The Chapecoense crest on the big screen during a minute of silence at the MLS Final. Photo by Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Bolivian Minister of Public Works, Milton Claros, has issued a report on the November plane crash that killed 71 of the 77 passengers on board, including nearly every member of the Chapecoense team. The report officially blames the pilot, Miguel Quiroga, and the charter airline, LaMia, for the disaster. Quiroga was also a co-owner of LaMia. He died in the crash.

LaMia's CEO, Gustavo Vargas Gamboa, is already in jail pending trial on manslaughter charges. His son is also being held on related charges.

The crash occurred on 28 November, as LaMia Flight 2933 approached the José María Córdova International Airport, outside Medellin, Colombia. Although officials have yet to release an official cause of the crash, the plane, an Avro RJ85, is thought to have crashed after running out of fuel. The flight originated in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, and the distance to Medellin was at the very edge of the plane's range.

Chapecoense were travelling to Medellin to take part in the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. Following the disaster, Atletico requested that CONMEBOL award the trophy to Chapecoense. The governing body made it official a few days later.