The two flight recorders, or black boxes, of the doomed plane that crashed in Colombia have been recovered from the crash site. The flight data and cockpit voice recordings could throw light on the exact cause of the incident.

Colombian authorities have confirmed finding the black boxes of the charter flight but are unsure how long it will take to analyse its contents. The Colombia civil aviation agency said the recorders are in "perfect shape".

The Lamia aircraft, en route to Bolivia from Brazil with 77 people on board, declared an electrical emergency when it was five minutes away from its final destination. Among the passengers were players and coaches of Brazil's Chapecoense football club.

Initially, the total number of passengers and crew members were said to be 81 but the figure was revised to 77 as four passengers in the manifest did not make it aboard. Brazilian news organisations report there were 21 journalists travelling in the flight. The plane owned by Mesaba Aviation in the US, came into operation in 1999 and in 2013, it went into the hands of the Bolivian airline Lamia.

Wreckage was found in the muddy and rain-soaked mountainous area called Cerro Gordo, about 50km from Medellin. Six survived the crash — three football players, two crew members and one journalist. Goalkeeper Marcos Padilha was pulled out alive but later died in hospital.

The region experienced poor weather conditions when the plane, a British Aerospace 146 short-haul aircraft, went down but there is still no conclusive evidence on the reason of the crash. There are also reports suggesting the flight could have run out of fuel — a possibility not ruled out by civil aviation officials.

Football-crazy Brazil has declared three days of mourning over the incident. The Colombian government has also offered support to the "families of the victims and Brazil". All football matches in South America have been cancelled in a show of solidarity to the victims.