The Foursquare Church community is grieving the loss of eight members who died in the Colombia plane crash on Monday that took the lives of almost everyone on board, sparing only six survivors.
Glenn Burris, president of Foursquare in the U.S., posted a message on social media confirming the death of some church leaders from Chapeco, Brazil along with other church members.
“We have received additional news that several of our local Foursquare leaders from Chapeco were on the plane and at least 8 Foursquare members were among the casualties,” Burris wrote on a post to Facebook. “We are sending our condolences to Foursquare President Mario Oliviera on behalf of the U.S. and Global Foursquare Church family.”
According to reports, the charter plane headed for Medellin, Colombia crashed into the Andes a few minutes after the pilot repeatedly requested for permission to land, saying the plane had run out of fuel. However, the controller said another plane with mechanical problems would be landing first, so they had to wait seven minutes.
A recording of the pilot’s conversation with the air traffic tower revealed the plane suffered from “complete electrical failure, without fuel.” This was confirmed by the pilot of a commercial plane who was communicating with the controller at the time and overheard the conversation, according to The Guardian.
A flight attendant who survived the crash also told the man who rescued her from the crash site that they “ran out of fuel. The plane turned off.”
The plane reportedly went on a downward spiral for four minutes before crashing. It was carrying 77 people on board, including a Brazilian soccer team that was supposed to play in a championship tournament and 21 journalists who traveled with them to watch the game.
According to ABC News, a government official said the plane should have refueled on its way to Medellin but the pilot decided not to.
Aside from the flight attendant, a flight engineer, one journalist and three members of the Chapecoense soccer team survived. They are still recovering. Three of them are in critical condition.
Soccer team fans gathered at two soccer stadiums and held prayer vigils for the victims of the plane crash.
“We are deeply saddened that there was considerable loss of life, of over 70 people,” Burris said. “Praying for all of Brazil, including the church in Chapeco, which is grieving immensely. May the God of comfort strengthen and sustain them ... Thank you for praying for Brazil.”