BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 30th, 2016 (PRESS SEC) — Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has reached out to Brazil’s President, His Excellency Michel Temer, following yesterday’s fatal crash of a chartered plane carrying Brazilian football team Chapecoense to the biggest match in its history.

The plane crashed near Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 on board including at least 20 journalists. There are six survivors.

In a letter dated today, Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, Prime Minister Harris writes:

Your Excellency,

The Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis grieve with you and the people of Brazil as you mourn the loss of more than 70 souls who perished in a plane crash yesterday, Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Undoubtedly, compounding the grief for the Brazilian people is the horror of knowing that members of the Associação Chapecoense de Futebol were on board the flight, en route to play the most important game in the club’s history: the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana against Colombia’s Atlético Nacional.

It is indeed unfortunate that what had been billed a magnificent football game, a long-cherished pastime of your people, and intended to enhance national unity and camaraderie among Brazilians, has resulted in such untold sorrow – the untimely passing of the team members, journalists and other passengers.

I can only imagine the overwhelming feeling of grief that families and friends, and indeed Brazilians in general, are enduring at this difficult time. Please know that we empathize with all of you and pray that fond memories of those who died in the crash, as well as the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will give added strength, succor and solace to your already resilient nation.

During this time of mourning, please accept best wishes for healing and hope for your Government, the bereaved loved ones and all Brazilians.

Timothy S. Harris (Dr. The Hon.)