Published: Monday 19 December, 2016

Brazilian Soccer Player Survived Plane Crash After Switching Seats

Chapecoense player Alan Ruschel survived the deadly plane crash in Colombia that almost wiped out his entire football team. Recently, Ruschel revealed how he was among only six who survived.

Alan Ruschel

Alan Ruschel recovering in hospital. (PHOTO: Alan Ruschel/Instagram)

Alan Ruschel thanked God for letting him survive the plane crash. The Chapecoense defender said he owes his survival to God after he switched seats midflight.

Ruschel said he was sitting at the back of the chartered plane when the Chapecoense football club director Cadu gaucho asked him to move towards the middle of the ill-fated plane.

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‘Cadu Gaucho asked me to sit further forward and let the journalists sit together at the back,’ he said.

Ruschel revealed that he didn’t want to change seats but then he saw teammate Jackson Follman who asked him to sit beside him.

Follman, Chapecoense’s goalkeeper, also survived the plane crash. However, he didn’t fare as well as Alan Ruschel because part of his leg had to be amputated after being pulled out alive from the plane’s wreckage.

71 football players, team officials, journalists and plane crew members died in the plane crash. The Chapecoense football team was on its way to Colombia to play in the final of the Copa Sudamerica but the chartered plane crashed a few miles from the Medillin airport.

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Investigators found out the plane ran out of fuel.

Aside from Alan Ruschel and Jackson Follman, another teammate survived – Helio Zemper Neto, who is recovering from severe trauma to his skull, thorax and lungs.

The three other survivors are two members of the flight crew – flight attendant Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri – and journalist Rafael Henzel.

A fourth Chapecoense player was pulled out alive – Marcos Danilo Padilha – but later died in hospital.