One of the six survivors of the 2016 airplane crash that claimed the lives of 71 passengers onboard – many of whom were members of a Brazilian soccer team – died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack.
Rafael Henzel was a radio journalist who was on board the plane carrying the Chapecoense team that crashed on Nov. 28, 2016, near Medellin, Colombia after running out of fuel. The team was on its way to a Copa Sudamericana match when it crashed.
Nineteen players died.
The 45-year-old journalist collapsed while playing a pickup soccer game with friends in Brazil. He died in a local hospital shortly after, the BBC reported.
"Throughout his brilliant career, Rafael told the story of Chapecoense," the club said in a tribute on its website. "The green and white pages of this institution will always remember his example of overcoming [adversity] and everything he did."
A highly respected radio journalist, Henzel was scheduled to cover the match between Chapecoense and Criciúma for national tournament Copa do Brasil on Wednesday. Chapecoense asked Brazil's football association to postpone it but were denied, the club said Wednesday.
Speaking to the BBC a few weeks after the crash, Henzel said he didn’t remember the moment of the crash and that he had been the next-to-last passenger to be rescued.
"My dream was to come back to my city, feel the ground under my feet. And this finally happened. It was a very special moment," said the journalist, who published a book about the crash in 2017.
The other survivors are footballers Alan Ruschel, Helio Zemper Neto, and Jakson Follmann, and crew members Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri.