The Latest: Pilot in Colombia crash said was out of fuel

LA UNION, Colombia (AP) The Latest on the aftermath of Colombian plane crash that killed members of Brazilian soccer team (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The pilot of a chartered plane with 77 people aboard told air traffic controllers he had run out of fuel moments before crashing into the Andes.

A recording from the air traffic tower leaked to W Radio shows the pilot of the British-built jet repeatedly requesting permission to land due to a “total electric failure” and lack of fuel.

A female controller can be heard giving instructions as the aircraft loses speed and altitude about 8 miles from the Medellin airport. Just before going silent the pilot says he's flying at an altitude at 9,000 feet.

W Radio didn't say how it obtained the recordings. But they would seem to confirm the account of a pilot on a nearby commercial flight.

Monday's crash killed all but six of the people aboard, including most members of the Chapecoense soccer team from Brazil.

7:30 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it was with great dismay that she learned about the tragic plane crash in Colombia.

The chancellor expressed her condolences Wednesday in a letter to Brazilian President Michel Temer, saying she wants to convey the sympathy of the German people.

Merkel expressed her sympathy for the families of the victims and sent best wishes for a speedy recovery of the survivors of the disaster.

7 a.m.

Pope Francis has asked for prayers for victims of the plane crash in Colombia, noting the Brazilian people are mourning the loss of soccer players from the Chapecoense team.

He mentioned the tragedy while greeting Portuguese-speaking pilgrims at his public audience Wednesday at the Vatican.

The crash of the chartered aircraft late Monday in the Andes mountains claimed 71 lives.

Francis told the pilgrims that Italians were reminded of the 1949 Superga air crash that wiped out an Italian soccer team. Francis said, “I'd like to recall today the Brazilian people's sorrow.” He urged prayers for the victims of these “harsh tragedies.”

In condolence telegrams to the local Colombia bishop and to the head of the Brazilian bishops conference, Francis expressed his solidarity and consolation to families of the dead and injured.