Pro Soccer Players Among 71 Killed in Colombian Plane Crash

Authorities say members of a professional Brazilian soccer team were killed, but at least six people, including three players, survived.
7:31 | 11/30/16

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Pro Soccer Players Among 71 Killed in Colombian Plane Crash
We start with an extraordinary story of survival. It involves a Cinderella soccer team on their way to the first-ever playoff game in their history when their plane crashed in the mountains of Colombia. 71 people died. But six somehow made it. Their bodies found away from the wreckage. What can we learn from them? Here's ABC's David Kerley. Reporter: Looking at the images of this plane crash today, the mangled seats just part of the fuselage intact, it's hard to imagine anyone could survive. 71 died but remarkably at least six did survive. In this particular instance, with all the wreckage that we've seen in the pictures, I would say if it's not miraculous, it's fairly close. Reporter: Last night search and rescue teams frantically working to pull them from the debris. The jet they were on was flying to the Colombian city of Medellin, going down in the mountains around the airport Monday night. Among those on board the regional Braz Zan soccer team the chapecoense. It was to be a Ju yus trip for the team, headed to a big tournament for the first time. Alan Ruschel with the beard one of the two players who survived. Next to him Padilla, a goalkeeper, found alive. He was able to call his family, but then died from his injuries. Another tragic story, the death of this 22-year-old player. His family releasing video last week when he learned he would soon be a father. Fans of the team now stunned by the loss. And tonight new details. Colombian authorities say the tail hit the top of the mountain and the rest of the plane slid down the other side. A team of investigators looking to the black boxes that they recovered to determine what went wrong. The flight data recorder will tell us what was and what was not operating in the cockpit. What did the pilots have to work with? Reporter: The plane was a British aerospace 146 owned by a charter company, often used to get into difficult airports which Medellin is. ABC's Steve ganyard has flown into that airport before. Even in the daytime it's a very sporty place. Not only do you have rugged terrain but oftentimes weather. It's a very high altitude about 7,500 feet. Reporter: The soccer team's journey began Monday evening. The team posting this video to their Facebook page showing them getting readily for the first leg of their journey, from Brazil to Bolivia. The team's manager describing the trip as the club's most important so far. One of the journalists on board uploads this the photo of them once they board that first leg. Soccer players Felipe machado filming himself joking with fellow passengers and teammates. Once in Bolivia, the second leg takes off, headed to Colombia's Medellin international airport. But at 9:54 P.M. Local time as the plane is nearing the end of its five-hour flight, authorities say the crew reports it's having electrical problems. Radar shows the jet circling near Medellin several times. The plane descends 5,000 feet within two minutes. The fact that they circled and circled after declaring an emergency and then impact the ground the way they did indicates they might have been completely without instrumentation and were searching for the runway. Reporter: At about 15,000 feet the plane disappears from radar. Emergency crews descend upon the scene. Those six people pulled alive from the wreckage and taken to local hospitals. With sunrise comes a clearer look at the wreckage and the plane torn to pieces. The 71 bodies now recovered. Those six survivors beat the odds given how many participatings die in crashes like this. When air France flight 447 went down in the atlantic ocean in June 2009, all 228 aboard were killed. The plane suffering an aerodynamic stall. And last may, Egyptian flight 804 crashing into the mediterranean sea, killing 66 passengers. That investigation still ongoing. Tonight, investigators trying to determine where in the plane those survivors were sitting. There is no safest seat. Because every time we have an accident and they're so few and far between, but every time one does occur that's survivable, it's always different. Each one is unique. That's the same thing about the seats. We just have no way of predicting. Reporter: Bracing for impact is key in surviving a plane crash. In an effort to examine how a tragic incident such as a plane crash unfolds, the discovery channel series "Curiosity plane crash" rigged up this 727 jet with cameras, sensors and test dummies before crashing it into the Mexican desert. The brace position is designed to reduce your chances of being knocked unconscious during a heavy impact. And you must be conscious obviously to evacuate. In an accident that is otherwise survivable, in which the cabin does not break apart, and obviously in this case it did break apart -- it is extremely important for passengers to do several things. First of all, they need to know when they get on the plane where the nearest exit is. Secondly, they need to listen and follow immediately the orders of the flight attendants who will be yelling at them to do certain things. Thirdly, no matter how much you need that laptop, leave it there, don't try to take it out with you. Reporter: For plane crash survivors the impact can be devastating. Last year blink 182 drummer Travis barker opened up to Chris Connelly. About the tragic plane crash he and his friend Adam Goldstein survived in 2008. Four others died that September night. We go to take off and you just hear like really -- sounds like someone's shooting at the plane. Then the plane spirals out of control and starts skidding on the runway. Smoke starts coming through the entire plane. Then we take off. And I'm screaming at this point. For me at this point it's like my biggest fear in the world is coming true. Reporter: The crash left him with severe burns, covering 65% of his body. Barker undergoing 27 surgeries. The pain so extreme the famous drummer considered suicide at one point. I would call friends of mine and go, I'll deposit $1 million into whoever's bank account, I'm done. Reporter: According to an NTSB report, the cause of that plane crash was a combination of severely underinflated tires, a problem in the aircraft's thrust reverser system, and the pilot's decision to abort takeoff too late. Lear jet manufactured that aircraft and told ABC news, safety is its top priority, adding this that their aircraft meet the stringent quality and safety stars of U.S., Canadian, and European authorities. While still infrequent, private plane crashes are far more likely than those on commercial aircraft. Back in Brazil tonight, mourning. This photo capturing the reactions of two players who did not travel with the team being told about the crash. And fans gathering at the stadium that is home to the Brazilian team to pay tribute to those who died in the crash. Some of the world's biggest teams from real Madrid to Barcelona held a minute's silence at the top of their practice sessions today. The Colombian soccer team that the Brazilian team was slated to play said today that it wants the Brazilians to be crowned the champions of the cup. For "Nightline" I'm David Kerley in Washington, D.C.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"7:31","description":"Authorities say members of a professional Brazilian soccer team were killed, but at least six people, including three players, survived.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"43865545","title":"Pro Soccer Players Among 71 Killed in Colombian Plane Crash","url":"/Nightline/video/pro-soccer-players-71-killed-colombian-plane-crash-43865545"}