Chapecoense defender and plane crash survivor Alan Ruschel released a video message to the world as he takes tentative steps to his recovery.

Ruschel reportedly underwent spinal surgery after being rescued from the rubble of the LaMia plane in Colombia. The crash on 28 November killed almost all of the 77 people on board. Six survived: three of the Chapecoense players, one journalist and two members of the cabin crew.

In the video, Ruschel thanked everyone for the support and affection he had received in the past few days. "My recovery is going very well and soon I will be back in Brazil to finish my recovery," he said.

As for his teammates, goalkeeper Jakson Follmann had his right leg amputated, while defender Hélio Hermito Zampier Neto remained in intensive care with severe trauma to his skull, thorax and lungs.

The doomed flight was en route from Bolivia to Colombia, where the Chapecoense team was supposed to play the first leg of the final match of the Copa Sudamericana against Atletico Nacional. The plane reportedly ran out of fuel shortly before reaching its destination and crash-landed on a mountain.

The head of the Bolivia-based charter airline, Gustavo Vargas and two other employees were detained on Tuesday (6 December) as part of investigations into the crash and were taken to a prosecutor's office in Santa Cruz. The trio were interrogated for eight hours. The Bolivian civil aviation authority also suspended the operating licence of LaMia airlines.

The bodies of the Brazilian nationals who died in the tragedy returned to Brazil on 2 December and were honoured in a funeral ceremony in the small town of Chapeco the following day. About half the population of the southern town of 210,000 attended the event, including Brazilian President Michel Temer.

The team was awarded the Copa Sudamericana championship as a "posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal crash that leaves our sport in mourning," the governing body of South American soccer Conmebol said in a statement on 5 December.

Colombia plane crash
The coffins of the victims of the plane crash in Colombia are carried into the Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, Brazil REUTERS/Diego Vara