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Bolivian government faults airline and pilot in Chapecoense crash

The LaMia plane carrying Chapecoense crashed into the mountains in Bolivia last month.

A Bolivian government report says the plane crash that killed 19 players of Brazilian club Chapecoense was the fault of the pilot and the LaMia airline.

The pilot, Miguel Quiroga, was one of 71 people to die in the incident.

"What has happened in this tragic event is the direct responsibility of the LaMia company and the pilot," Milton Claros, Bolivia's minister of public works and services, said at a news conference while presenting the government's findings on Tuesday.

Claros also said his ministry would prosecute some public servants over "some omissions that have occurred," including Celia Castedo, an air navigation officer who has sought asylum in Brazil after pointing out irregularities in the flight plan.

Initial investigations found the jet's maximum flying range was exceeded for the flight between Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Medellin, Colombia, where Chapecoense was headed to play in the Copa Sudamericana final.

Air transport director Andy Rocabado said the pilot was responsible for verifying the amount of fuel was sufficient to make the flight.

The director of Castedo's organisation, Tito Gandarillas, and Civil Aeronautics General Directorate leader Cesar Varela also face sanctions.

Gandarillas is accused of a breach of duties, while Varela failed to report the relationship between the head of LaMia, Gustavo Vargas, and his son, who headed the office responsible for licensing aircraft in Bolivia's civil aviation agency.


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