Four Kids Found Alive in Amazon Rainforest 16 Days After Escaping Fatal Plane Crash
A Colombia solider looks out over the thick jungle canopy of the Amazon from a helicopter.
Four kids, including an 11-month-old baby, survived for 16 days in the Amazon rainforest in Colombia all on their own following a May 1 plane crash that killed all the adults on board.
Military searchers found the bodies of the children’s mother and two other adults in the wreckage of a Cessna 206 light aircraft that crashed deep in the Amazon rainforest on its way to San José del Guaviare, Colombia. The wreckage wasn’t found by searchers until two weeks later. While the bodies of three adults were among the wreckage, there was no sign of the children, ages 13, nine, four and not quite one. That is, until searchers and recovery dogs found makeshift shelter and discarded fruit and items belonging to the children.
Makeshift shelter found in Amazon jungle during hunt for children and baby weeks after plane crash
It’s reported that the children, who belong to the Huitoto indigenous group, were found by other indigenous people living deep in the Amazon. But because of the remoteness of the people, the difficult terrain and weather conditions, ensuring the children are alive through official means has been difficult, according to the BBC:
“We think that the children who were aboard the plane are alive. We have found traces at a different location, away from the crash site, and a place where they may have sheltered,” Colonel Juan José López said on Wednesday.
Fearing that the children were wandering ever deeper into the jungle, the military deployed helicopters which played a recorded message from their grandmother in the Huitoto language urging them to stay put.
The search was hampered by heavy rains, but on Wednesday Colombia’s Institute for Child Welfare told Colombia’s president it had received reports “from the field” that the children had been found by locals.
President Petro tweeted the news, saying the had been located “after an arduous search”.
However, confusion arose when Colombia’s armed forces said they themselves had not yet been able to make contact with the children “due to the difficult meteorological conditions and the difficult terrain” - and could not confirm the news of their rescue.
Meanwhile, Avianline, a local plane operator which owned the crashed plane, released a statement saying that it too had received reports that the children had been found.
One of its pilots landing on a dirt strip in Cachiporro, a community near the crash site, was told that locals there had been contacted by radio from a remote location called Dumar and been told that the children had been found. They would be taken by boat to Cachiporro, he said.
The kids knowledge of their homeland likely led to their survival. The Huitoto people instill survival skills in their kids early on, the BBC reports. As a big fan of survival stories I sincerely hope this gets turned into a bestselling book with movie options as soon as possible. Though residuals from telling their story will never replace their mother. The kids’ father is looking forward to their return and told a local radio station he never gave up hope.
These four aren’t alone in their youthful survival of catastrophic events. A four-year-old girl was the sole survivor of on of the deadliest plane crashes in U.S. history, for instance.
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