Rafael Henzel, Chapecoense Plane Crash Survivor, Dies From Heart Attack Playing Football
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Rafael Henzel, a survivor of the Chapecoense plane crash, has sadly died aged 45 after suffering a heart attack while playing football.
Henzel, a respected football reporter and commentator, was one of six passengers to survive the tragedy in November 2016, which claimed the lives of 71 people.
Chapecoense were travelling to Medellin to take on Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.
Globo Esporte reported that Henzel collapsed playing football in the southern city of Chapeco and doctors were unable to prevent him from passing away after he was rushed to hospital.
The club announced the heartbreaking news on their official club website and paid tribute to "a symbol of the club's reconstruction".
A Associação Chapecoense de Futebol vem a público a fim de manifestar o profundo pesar e toda a consternação pela notícia do falecimento do jornalista Rafael Henzel, ocorrido na noite desta terça-feira. pic.twitter.com/sbtBSM5NQv
- Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) March 27, 2019
Brazilian journalist Rafael Henzel (R1), one of 6 #survivors of the 2016 #Chapecoense #planecrash , dies of a heart attack late on Tuesday. He's 45 pic.twitter.com/BaTu8fY76R
- Xinhua Sports (@XHSports) March 27, 2019
"Throughout his brilliant career, Rafael told the story of Chapecoense," a piece on the Chapecoense website read.
"He was a symbol of the club's reconstruction and he will always be remembered in the green and white pages of this institution."
Tributes poured in for Henzel, who had not long since written a book titled 'Life as if you were living'.
Desperately sad news. Journalist Rafael Henzel, who survived the Chapecoense air disaster, has passed away. He was just 45. https://t.co/yPPdxdugH1
- Rupert Fryer (@Rupert_Fryer) March 27, 2019
Athletic Club offers its sincere condolences for the sudden death of the journalist Rafael Henzel, who recently participated in Thinking Football as a survivor of the plane crash of #Chapecoense and protagonist of the film Nossa Chape, which has won the contest pic.twitter.com/9K24DmVKkN
- Athletic Club (@Athletic_en) March 27, 2019
Relembre a participação de Rafael Henzel, ao lado de Galvão Bueno, na transmissão do Jogo da Amizade entre Brasil e Colômbia, em janeiro de 2017 pic.twitter.com/hs8M2V4ThP
- globoesportecom (@globoesportecom) March 27, 2019
According to commentator Juan Arango, Chapecoense have asked for their upcoming game against Criciuma to be postponed out of respect for Henzel.
So @ChapecoenseReal have asked the @CBF_Futebol to have their match on Thursday be postponed after the passing of Rafael Henzel.
- Juan G. Arango :flag_co: :flag_it: (@JuanG_Arango) March 27, 2019
Our thoughts are with Rafael's family and friends at this time.