Thumbs up after tragedy: Soccer team plane crash survivor takes first steps

A Chapecoense player who miraculously survived the Colombian plane crash that killed 19 of his team mates has taken his first steps since the tragic disaster.

Alan Ruschel, a 27-year-old defender, was filmed walking slowly down a corridor dressed in a hospital gown supported by his doctor.

With a bandage over his nose and forearm, Ruschel gave the camera a thumbs-up before thanking the public for their support.

Alan Ruschel was one of six survivors of the doomed flight. Photo: Twitter
The 27-year-old defender gave the camera a thumbs up before thanking his supports. Photo: Twitter
Players from the Chapecoense team. Source: Twitter
Brazil declared three days of mourning after the crash. Photo: AP

"I would like to tell you that I am recovering very well, I will soon come back to Brazil to finish my recovery," he said.

"I would like to thank all of you, for the support given and by the vows of affection that I also received, I just wanted to thank everyone, thank you very much."

Ruschel was the first victim to be pulled from the wreckage in the remote mountainside, and is being treated at Somer Clinic in Colombia for multiple fractures.

Chapecoense football players and officials, along with several journalists, were travelling to Medellin for the team's Copa Sudamerica final game.

Defender Alan Ruschel (right) and goalkeeper Marcos Danilo Padilha, pose for a selfie during their journey from Brazil. Source: Alan Ruschel.
A picture of the Chapecoense team and support staff before takeoff. Source: Twitter
Police say there were a handful of survivors. Photo: Yahoo News.

Before the crash, Ruschel posed for selfies with fellow player Marcos Danilo Padilha who shared them online, telling fans: "We're coming Colombia."

Danilo initially survived the crash and was taken to hospital where he was able to speak to his wife, but he died a short time later from his injuries.

Seventy-one passengers and crew were killed in the disaster.