A plane carrying a South American football team has crashed in Colombia – killing 25 people.
The plane was carrying the Brazilian side Chapecoense to Medellin airport when it fell from the sky after suffering electrical problems.
The jet split in two when it crashed in mountains shortly at around 10pm local time (3am UK time), shortly before it was due to land.
The hero pilot is reported to have opened a fuel door to release fuel and prevent a huge explosion in the seconds after the crash.
There were 72 passengers and 9 crew on board the charter plane, which was taking the 22-man squad to their match against Atletico Nacional.
Mayor of Medellin Federico Gutierrez confirmed in a statement at the crash site that at least 25 people have been killed.
He said: “Right now firefighters say 25 people have died.
“This is a tragedy. we have pictures of the plane, which broke in two .
“There has been talk of more than 10 survivors, that’s the important thing first is save the lives of those who are coming.
“We thank God the plane did not fall in an urban area because it could have been an even greater tragedy.”
Defender Alan Ruschel and goalkeepers Danilo Padilha and Jakson Follmann are reported to be three of the survivors taken to hospital.
Ruschel – who suffered a broken hip and head injuries – was heard asking medics to look after his wedding ring as he arrived at hospital.
A video shared on Twitter claimed to show the moment the plane disappeared from view on flight radar at around 10.15pm local time.
The pilot declared an emergency around 10pm local time citing electrical failure.
The team are believed to have had to change their flight and board the plane that crashed after Brazilian aviation authorities prevented them from taking a charter flight to Medellin.
The jet came down in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union, according to Mi Oriente.
Colombia has been hit by heavy storms which are hampering rescue efforts.
“The site of the accident is only accessible by land due to climatic conditions and low visibility,” a statement from the airport said.
“The Colombian Air Force deployed a search and rescue helicopter which had to cancel the mission due to the adverse conditions.
“According to the authorities the police are mobilising all possible help since they are reporting six survivors.”
Colombian news website Noticias Caracol tweeted what is purported to be the first pictures of the wreckage.
A spokesman said: “Given the conflicting reports emerging from different journalistic sources concerning the crash of the plane carrying the Chapecoense players, the Chapecoense football association through it vice-president, Ivan Tozzo, is refraining from comment and awaiting official announcements from the Colombian air authorities.
“May God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists and the other guests who are with the delegation.”
Clubs from across the world tweeted their condolences to Chapecoense.
Spanish side Sevilla said: Sevilla FC shows is shows its condolences for the plane crash involving Chapecoense. Hard times for football.”