Chapecoense plane crash survivor involved in bus crash which killed 22 people

A survivor of the plane crash that killed most of Brazilian football team Chapecoense has walked away from a coach smash that claimed the lives of 21 people.

Erwin Tumiri was one of just six people to survive the LaMia Flight 2933 on November 28 2016 near Medellin in Colombia which killed 71 of the 77 people on board including 19 players.

Today, it emerged the 30-year-old had cheated death for a second time in less than five years after a packed coach careered down a hillside near the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

The death toll from yesterday morning’s tragedy currently stands at 21 and more than 30 people are said to have been injured.

Lucia Tumiri, confirming her brother was in hospital but had only suffered minor injuries, said: “I was very worried but he’s stable and thank God he’s survived once again.

“He has knee injuries and scratches on his back. I’ve spoken to him and he says he’s okay.”

Erwin, one of the crew on board the Chapecoense plane, told local media of his incredible new escape: “I was feeling a bit sleepy and listening to music on my mobile phone when I heard people screaming.”

“The only thing I could do was hold onto the seat in front of me, broaden my shoulders and lean against the window so I wouldn’t move as the coach overturned.”

Speaking from his hospital bed with a bandage over his right knee but smiling despite his fresh ordeal, he added: “I felt the coach was going to overturn and it did.

“I remained conscious throughout and managed to crawl out of the vehicle when it came to a halt.

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  • “I can’t believe what’s happened. I’ve got injuries to my arm and I can’t lift it up at the moment but I’ve been told I will recover mobility little by little. And I’ve got a gash on my knee, but that’s all.

    “Things happen for a reason,in the good times and the bad.”

    Cristian Rivera Rojas, a traumatologist at Arebalo Hospital in Cochabamba where Erwin is being treated, added: “There are no bone or ligament injuries. What Erwin has got is a flesh wound in his knee that needed cleaning and stitches.

    “He’s stable, conscious and calm and he will be able to go home soon.”

    More than 52 people were on the coach, which plunged nearly 500ft down a steep embankment on the road linking Cochabamba to Bolivia’s largest city Santa Cruz.

    It went off the road around 1am on Tuesday in an area known as El Canadon, part of the municipality of Colomi in central Bolivia.

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    Footage from the scene showed the vehicle lying on its side in a clearing among thick vegetation as the first rescuers arrived.

    Police chief Jhony Corrales, speaking late yesterday/on Tuesday, said 21 bodies had been recovered but searches were still taking place to see if more people were under the coach.

    Mr Tumiri told Fox Sports Argentina after surviving the Chapecoense plane crash: “I put the bags in between my legs to form the foetal position that is recommended in accidents.”

    The Chapecoense football squad, then in Brazil’s top-flight Serie A league, were heading to Medellin to play the first leg of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana finals.

    Only three Chapecoense players survived the crash. Goalkeeper Jakson Ragnar Follman had one of his legs amputated as a result of the accident.

    Journalist Rafael Henzel, one of the six survivors, died in March 2019 after suffering a heart attack while he played football with friends.

    Chapecoense were relegated to Serie B shortly after the tragedy but secured promotion to Serie A in January.

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