Chapecoense Plane Crash Survivor Rafael Henzel Dies of Heart Attack Aged 45

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

Brazilian journalist Rafael Henzel (C), one of the survivors of the air crash in which most of the Chapecoense football team died in Colombia last November, is interviewed by AFP before the presentation of his book in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Tercio Teixeira        (Photo credit should read TERCIO TEIXEIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Radio reporter Rafael Henzel, who was one of six survivors of the 2016 plane crash that killed many members of the Chapecoense football team and 71 people in total, died on Tuesday aged 45 after suffering a heart attack.

Reuters' Andrew Downie (h/t Channel News Asia) relayed the news from the Brazilian club:

Per Globo (h/t Downie), Henzel was taken to hospital after he collapsed while playing football in Chapeco and died shortly after his arrival.

In a statement, Chapecoense paid tribute to Henzel: "Throughout his brilliant career, Rafael told the story of Chapecoense. He was a symbol of the club's reconstruction and he will always be remembered in the green and white pages of this institution."

So too did La Liga club Athletic Bilbao:

Chapecoense are due to play Criciuma in the Copa do Brasil on Wednesday, but they have asked the Brazilian Football Confederation to play the match on Thursday instead following Henzel's death, per Sport's Juan G. Arango.

In November 2016, a plane carrying 77 peopleincluding the Chapecoense team, staff and 21 journalistscrashed on the way to Medellin, Colombia, where the club were due to compete in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.

Only six survived, including Henzel and three Chapecoense players.