Air crashes that rocked the sports world

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MONTEVIDEO — The 1972 Andes plane crash involving Uruguay’s Old Christians rugby team, made famous by the fact that some of the survivors ate the remains of other victims, is just one of several aviation disasters to hit the sporting world since the dawn of air travel.اضافة اعلان

Here are 10 others:

1949: Italy’s Grande Torino

A plane carrying famed Italian football club Grande Torino crashed on its way back from Portugal on May 4, 1949, killing all 31 passengers and crew. A reported one million people poured into the streets of Turin to bid farewell to their heroes. Grande Torino were named Italian champions for the fifth time in a row. The crash had a devastating impact on the Italian national squad, which was dominated by Torino players.

1958: England’s Manchester United

Eight members of Manchester United’s celebrated “Busby Babes” team were among 23 people who died when their plane crashed after attempting to take off in poor conditions in Munich on February 6, 1958.

England superstar Duncan Edwards was among those killed, while Sir Bobby Charlton — who went on to win the World Cup with England — was hurt. Manager Matt Busby recovered from serious injuries and rebuilt United into a force that would win the European Cup a decade later, in 1968.

1961: US figure skating team

The entire 18-member team died when their plane crashed in Belgium on February 15, 1961, on their way to compete at the World Championships in the former Czechoslovakia. Three members of a skating family were among the victims: US ladies champion Laurence Owens, 16, her sister Maribel, 20, and their mother and coach Maribel Vinson-Owen, an Olympic bronze medalist.

1969: Rocky Marciano

American boxing legend Rocky Marciano was killed when his jet crashed into a tree as it was coming in to land in the US state of Iowa, on August 31, 1969. Marciano, 45 when he died, was world heavyweight champion between 1952 and 1956 and retired undefeated with a 49–0 record.

1987: Peru’s oldest football team

A Peruvian navy plane carrying 43 people, including players and staff from Alianza Lima, the country’s oldest football team, plunged into the ocean off Lima on December 8, 1987.

The airliner was returning to the capital from the jungle city of Pucallpa when the pilot reported problems with the landing gear. He survived and was recovered after floating for hours in choppy seas.

1993: Zambian football team

On April 27, 1993, an aircraft carrying Zambia’s national football team crashed into the sea shortly after take off from Gabon, en route to play Senegal in a World Cup qualifier, killing all 25 people on board. The team was recognized as one of the strongest ever fielded by the African nation, having thrashed Italy 4–0 at the 1988 Olympic Games. A report into the crash, issued a decade later, blamed pilot error and an engine problem.

2011: Russian ice hockey team

A plane carrying top-tier Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed due to pilot error after taking off for their first game of the season in the Belarus capital, Minsk on September 7, 2011. All of the players were killed.

2016: Brazilian footballers

A plane carrying Brazil’s Chapecoense football team ran out of fuel and crashed in the Andes near Medellin, Colombia, on November 28, 2016.

Seventy-one of the 77 people on board were killed, including 16 of the 19 players. Chapecoense were en route to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional.

2019: Emiliano Sala

Premier League team Cardiff City’s record new signing, Argentina-born striker Emiliano Sala, died when a light aircraft he was travelling in crashed over the English Channel in January 2019.

2020: Kobe Bryant

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people when their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions on a hill outside Los Angeles on January 26, 2020.

Five-time NBA champion Bryant, 41, became the face of basketball during a glittering two decades with the Los Angeles Lakers. He is considered one of the greatest players ever.

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