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In the light of the plane crash in Medellin, Colombia with members of the Brazilian football club Chapecoense Real on-board, it has brought to life bad memories of previous crashes involving football teams. The Indian Express takes a look at the most notable ones:
Manchester United team in Munich
The most notable and memorable example of a football team having its course changed and history affected is that involving Manchester United. The plane crashed in Munich while trying to take off from slush covered runway. The crash happened in 1958 with 23 people dying. Manchester United’s side nicknamed “The Busby Babes” were travelling from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, after playing Red Star Belgrade, to Manchester, England, after stopping in Munich for refueling. The Manchester United team lost eight of its members from the 1957-58 squad. The incident came to be popularly known as the “Munich air disaster.” The tragedy is memorialized by a plaque hanging at the club’s Old Trafford stadium.
Zambian national team
The entire Zambian national team—18 players and 5 team officials—died on April 28, 1993. The team was on its way to Dakar to play Senegal in a World Cup qualifier. The plane crashed into the Atlantic just off the coast of Libreville, Gabon. An investigation concluded the cause of the crash was pilot error. The official investigation further added that the pilot had shut down the wrong engine after a fire. Additionally, the investigation found that pilot fatigue and an instrument error had contributed to the accident. The accident is recreated and the story captured in the 2014 Spanish/Zambian documentary ‘Eighteam’.
Torino football team in Turin
After playing a friendly match against Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal, Italian football club Torino’s players were returning home to Turin when the plane crashed into a wall on May 4, 1949. The cause for the crash is believed to low visibility that resulted in the plane crashing into the retaining wall at the back of the Basilica of Superga. The incident came to be known as the Superga air disaster with the entire team wiped out including staff and journalists travelling with the team. The accident affected the Italian football team adversely too with many of the players called up to the national side.