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Crew member who survived Brazil Chapecoense plane crash walks away from deadly coach smash


A man who survived the plane crash that killed most of Brazil‘s Chapecoense football team has walked away from a coach smash that claimed the lives of 21 people.

Crew member Erwin Tumiri was one of just six people to survive LaMia Flight 2933, which crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016.

Seventy-one of the 77 people onboard were killed, including 19 members of the Chapecoense football team.

On Wednesday, it emerged that the 30-year-old had cheated death for a second time after a packed coach he was travelling in careered down a hillside near the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

Tumiri survived but the death toll from the crash stands at 21 and more than 30 people are said to have been injured. 

More than 50 passengers were travelling on the coach at the time of the incident.

A man who survived the plane crash that killed most of Brazil's Chapecoense football team has walked away from a coach smash in Bolivia (pictured) that claimed the lives of 21 people

A man who survived the plane crash that killed most of Brazil’s Chapecoense football team has walked away from a coach smash in Bolivia (pictured) that claimed the lives of 21 people

The coach plunged 500ft down a steep embankment on the road linking Cochabamba to Bolivia's largest city Santa Cruz after going off the road at around 1am on Tuesday

The coach plunged 500ft down a steep embankment on the road linking Cochabamba to Bolivia’s largest city Santa Cruz after going off the road at around 1am on Tuesday

More than 50 passengers were travelling on the coach at the time of the incident and the search for bodies continues

More than 50 passengers were travelling on the coach at the time of the incident and the search for bodies continues

Tumiri’s sister Lucia said her brother was in hospital but had suffered only minor injuries.

‘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,’ she added. ‘I’ve spoken to him and he says he’s okay.’

Tumiri spoke to local media about his latest incredible 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.’ 

Crew member Erwin Tumiri (pictured) was one of just six people to survive LaMia Flight 2933, which crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016. He spoke to local media on Wednesday from his hospital bed where he is recovering from minor injuries sustained in the coach accident

Crew member Erwin Tumiri (pictured) was one of just six people to survive LaMia Flight 2933, which crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016. He spoke to local media on Wednesday from his hospital bed where he is recovering from minor injuries sustained in the coach accident

Tumiri was smiling despite his ordeal as he spoke from his hospital bed with a bandage over his right knee.

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

‘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,’ he said. 

Tumiri survived the coach crash but the death toll from the crash stands at 21 and more than 30 people are said to have been injured

Tumiri survived the coach crash but the death toll from the crash stands at 21 and more than 30 people are said to have been injured

Searches were still taking place on Wednesday to see if there were more people under the coach

Searches were still taking place on Wednesday to see if there were more people under the coach

Cristian Rivera Rojas, a traumatologist at the Arebalo Hospital in Cochabamba where Erwin is being treated said that Tumiri will soon be able to go home.  

‘There are no bone or ligament injuries. What Erwin has got is a flesh wound in his knee that needed cleaning and stitches,’ Rivera Rojas said.

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

The coach plunged 500ft down a steep embankment on the road linking Cochabamba to Bolivia’s largest city Santa Cruz after going off the road at around 1am on Tuesday.

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

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

Seventy-one of the 77 people onboard LaMia Flight were killed when it crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016 [File photo]

Seventy-one of the 77 people onboard LaMia Flight were killed when it crashed near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016 [File photo]

Nineteen members of Brazil's Chapecoense football team were killed in the crash. Pictured: Relatives of the players cry during a memorial service inside the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil on November 30, 2016 [File photo]

Nineteen members of Brazil’s Chapecoense football team were killed in the crash. Pictured: Relatives of the players cry during a memorial service inside the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil on November 30, 2016 [File photo]

Speaking after the Chapecoense plane crash, Tumiri told Fox Sports Argentina how his training as a member of the flight crew might have helped save his life.

‘I put my 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 of the 19 players on board 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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