Bolivian authorities Thursday suspended the license of a tiny charter airline called LAMIA, whose plane crashed in Colombia this week after apparently running out of fuel, killing 71 people and wiping out the small Chapecoense team while it was traveling to the biggest game in its history, the final of the Copa Sudamericana.
Freddy Bonilla, secretary of airline security at Colombia's aviation authority, said investigators combing the crash site on a wooded hillside outside of Medellin found no traces of fuel in the wreckage of the BAe 146 made by Britain's BAE Systems Plc.
Air traffic control at Medellin airport asked the LAMIA pilot to wait while another flight made an emergency landing. International flight regulations require aircraft to carry enough reserve fuel to fly for 30 minutes after reaching their destination.
"In this case, sadly, the aircraft did not have enough fuel to meet the regulations for contingency," Bonilla said.
Bolivia said Thursday that it was immediately suspending LAMIA's operation certificate and would replace the management of its aviation authority in the wake of the crash, to ensure a transparent investigation. It said the moves implied no wrongdoing.