Four Missing Children Found Alive Over a Month After Horrific Plane Crash
Four Indigenous children who vanished 40 days ago after surviving a plane crash in the Amazon jungle have been found alive after an intense search, Colombian authorities announced Friday. In an interview with reporters upon his return to Bogota from Cuba, where he signed a cease-fire agreement with members of the National Liberation Army rebel group, Petro said the children were alone when they were found and are now receiving medical attention, reported the Associated Press. According to the president, the young people are an “example of survival,” and their story “will remain in history.” No details were immediately available on how the children survived so long on their own. An engine failure caused a Cessna single-engine propeller plane carrying six passengers and a pilot to crash in the early hours of May 1.
After a short time, the small aircraft vanished off radar, and an urgent search began for survivors. Search teams recovered the bodies of the three adults on board the plane two weeks after it crashed in the rainforest on May 16 but not the children, according to AP. The group of four children traveled alongside their mother from the Amazonian village of Araracuara to San Jose del Guaviare, which is a small city situated on the edge of the Amazon rainforest. They are Huitoto people and know some survival skills in the rainforest, according to officials.
“The jungle saved them.”Four Indigenous children survived 40 days after a plane crash in the Amazon thanks to some cassava flour and their knowledge of rainforest fruits, officials and family said. https://t.co/aX44Pm40ND
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 10, 2023
On June 9, after it was confirmed that the children had been rescued, the president stated that he had believed for a while that the children were rescued by one of the nomadic tribes that remain encamped in the remote parts of the jungle where the plane fell and had little contact with the authorities.
It was one of the soldiers’ rescue dogs that first found the children in the jungle, Petro said. When the children were found, authorities did not indicate how far away they were from the crash site. However, the search had been limited to within a radius of 4.5 kilometers (nearly 3 miles) from the location where the small plane nosedived. In the course of the search, soldiers discovered a pair of footprints, a baby bottle, diapers, and pieces of fruit that appeared to have been bitten by humans in the jungle, which led them to believe the children were still alive, reported AP.
“The jungle saved them,” Petro said. “They are children of the jungle, and now they are also children of Colombia.”