Bolivia Plane Crash: Authorities Arrest LaMia Airline Boss

Supporters and relatives in a funeral service at the Chapecoense stadium on Saturday/Photo: Getty Images via BBC

In Bolivia authorities have arrested the head of the airline that crashed last week, killing 71 people, including most of the Brazilian football team, Chapecoense.

As part of an investigation into the crash, Gustavo Vargas, a retired air force general, has been detained.

The plane, operated by the tiny LaMia airline, was flying the team to Colombia when it ran out of fuel.

A Bolivian official, in a BBC report, said she warned the pilot of the problem before departure.

Seeks asylum in Brazil

The official, Celia Castedo, has now sought asylum in Brazil, saying she suffered threats and abuse, the report says.

The Brazilian club were travelling to the city of Medellin to play the first leg of the Sudamericana Cup final against Atletico Nacional.

But the British-made Avro RJ85 aircraft ran out of fuel as it approached the airport in Medellin on 28 November.

In a leaked tape, the pilot, Miguel Quiroga, can be heard warning of a “total electric failure” and “lack of fuel.”

And Castedo said she warned Quiroga before departure. She said the long flight between southern Bolivia and Medellin was at the limit of the plane’s maximum range.

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