Bolivian president calls for sanctions against airline

RIO NEGRO, Colombia (AP) – Colombia’s president is calling for “drastic measures” against aviation officials who signed off on the flight plan filed by the crew of the plane that crashed into a mountainside this week, killing all but six of the 77 people on board.

The victims included members of a Brazilian soccer team.

Experts — and even an executive of the charter airline involved — say the flight never should have been attempted because of concerns over a possible fuel shortage.

A recording of conversations between a pilot of the doomed flight and air traffic controllers, as well as the account of a surviving flight attendant, indicated the plane ran out of fuel before crashing just a few miles from Medellin’s (meh-deh-YEENZ’) international airport.

Details are emerging of family ties between the airline and the aviation agency that approved the flight plan — which exceeded the jet’s maximum flying range.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the victims are being sent back to their home country. As an honor guard played taps early today, members of Colombia’s military loaded five Bolivian crew members who died in the crash onto a cargo plane for the trip back home. The bodies of more than 60 Brazilians are also being returned home.

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