Bolivia blames airline for footballers' plane crash

PHOTO: Reuters

The Bolivian airline that owned the airplane that crashed in Colombia, killing 71 people including most of a Brazilian football team, is fully responsible for the accident, an official said Tuesday.

The Bolivia-based LaMia airlines plane slammed into the mountains outside Medellin on November 29, killing most of Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real as they traveled to a match.

"The evidence is conclusive, the direct responsibility of this event falls on the pilot and the airline company," Public Works and Services Minister Milton Claros said at a press conference.

A harrowing recording has emerged of the pilot radioing the control tower to report he was out of fuel. Six people survived the crash.

Plane carrying football players crashes in Colombia

  • Brazilian soccer player Alan Luciano Ruschel of Chapecoense soccer club receives medical attention after a plane crash.
  • Relatives of Brazilian journalist Guilherme Marques, who died in a plane accident that crashed into Colombian junglewith Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense onboard near Medellin, mourn during a mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Relatives of Brazilian journalist Guilherme Marques, who died in a plane accident that crashed into Colombian junglewith Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense onboard near Medellin, mourn during a mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Rescue crew work at the wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense near Medellin.
  • Rescue workers carry the body of a victim from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense.
  • Rescue workers carry the body of a victim from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team react at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • A fan of Chapecoense soccer team and his son react at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team gather in the streets to pay tribute to their players in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team are pictured in front of the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, November 29, 2016.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team gather in the streets to pay tribute to their players in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team attend a mass at the Santo Antonio Cathedral in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team attend a mass at the Santo Antonio Cathedral in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team are pictured in front of the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, November 29, 2016.
  • Flowers and messages are seen next a Chapecoense soccer team flag in tribute to their players in front of the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, November 29, 2016.
  • Fans of Chapecoense soccer team are pictured in front of the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil, November 29, 2016.
  • A fan of Chapecoense soccer team prays at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco.
  • The flags of Brazil and the member countries of the South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) fly at half staff, paying tribute to members of Chapecoense soccer team in a plane crash in Colombia, in front of the headquarters in Luque.
  • The flags of Brazil and the member countries of the South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) fly at half staff, paying tribute to members of Chapecoense soccer team in a plane crash in Colombia, in front of the headquarters in Luque.
  • People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • A fan of Chapecoense soccer team shows a poster of her team at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • A fan of Chapecoense soccer team shows a poster of her team at the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • Fans light candles in tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, at their football stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina.
  • Fans light candles in tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, at their football stadium in Chapeco, Santa Catarina.
  • People surround a church during a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People surround a church during a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • People pay tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • View of a flower hanging from a net during a tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real who were killed in a plane accident in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • A sign placed by the Brazilian team Chapecoense Real thanking fans for their support in 2016 is seen in Chapeco, city in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • A sign placed by the Brazilian team Chapecoense Real thanking fans for their support in 2016 is seen in Chapeco, city in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
  • Rescue workers inspect the bodies from the wreckage of a plane that crashed into the Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense onboard near Medellin.
  • Colombian air force helicopter retrieves the bodies of victims from a plane that crashed into the Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense onboard.
  • Rescue crew work at the wreckage of a plane that crashed into the Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense near Medellin, Colombia.
  • Rescuers gesture near the wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team is seen after it crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • Members of the forensics team carry the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • Members of the forensics team recover the bodies of victims of the LAMIA airlines charter plane crash in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • Wreckage from a plane that crashed into Colombian jungle with Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, is seen near Medellin, Colombia, November 29, 2016.
  • Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • The wreckage of the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team is seen after it crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • A charter plane carrying the Brazilian football team crashed in the mountains in Colombia late Monday, killing as many as 75 people, officials said.
  • Rescuers carry one of the survivors from the LAMIA airlines charter plane carrying members of the Chapecoense Real football team that crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, on November 29, 2016.
  • This file photo taken on November 24, 2016 shows Brazil's Chapecoense players posing for pictures during their 2016 Copa Sudamericana semifinal second leg football match against Argentina's San Lorenzo held at Arena Conda stadium, in Chapeco, Brazil.
  • Real Madrid's players observe a minute of silence at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training ground outside Madrid, Spain, after a plane crash involving passengers including players of Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, November 29, 2016.
  • An Avro RJ85 operated by Lamia which crashed on approach to Medellin while carrying 81 passengers and crew including Brazilian football team Chapecoense is seen in a file picture taken in Norwich, Britain on September 25, 2015.

Investigations are ongoing, but Colombia's civil aviation safety chief has said the plane disregarded international rules on fuel reserves.

Bolivia has suspended the airline's permit and arrested its manager and his son, who is an official in the civil aviation authority.

Claros said administrative and criminal sanctions were being drawn up against Bolivian airport official Celia Castedo. Other civil aviation officials will also face sanctions, he said.

Castedo, who fled to Brazil claiming persecution, has "direct responsibility" for authorizing the flight and for notifying her superiors of the flight's problems one day after the accident via e-mail, Claros said.

Last week an attorney for the plane's copilot said that pilot Miguel Quiroga had not completed the training hours required to operate a commercial flight.