Almost 2 weeks after plane crash in the Amazon, 4 children, including infant, found alive
Four children including an 11-month-old infant have been found alive in the deep Colombian Amazon following a plane crash more than two weeks ago, Colombian President Gustavo Petro has said.
Petro tweeted the military had conducted arduous search efforts to find the children. The search for the survivors of the plane crash on May 1 involved more than 100 soldiers and three sniffer dogs, according to authorities. Rescuers think the children, a 13-year-old, a nine-year-old, and a four-year-old apart from the infant, had been lost in the rain forests of the southern Caqueta region following the crash.
The military said in a statement early on Wednesday that search efforts were stepped up after they discovered a improvised shelter built with sticks and branches, which led them to assume there might be survivors. On the jungle floor, among the branches, the search parties found scissors and a hair-tie in images provided by the military.
Previously, a baby’s bottle and a piece of partially-consumed fruit had been discovered. Soldiers found the bodies of the pilot and two adults on Monday and Tuesday. They had been travelling by plane from a jungle area to San Jose del Guaviare, one of the major towns in Colombia’s Amazon rain forest. Ranoque Mucutuy, a deceased traveller, was the Huitoto woman, who was the mother of the four children. Large trees as tall as 40 metres, wild animals, and a lot of rain made the operation search challenging.
Three helicopters have been utilised to assist, and one of them broadcast an audio message in the Huitoto language from the children’s grandmother ordering them to stop travelling through the jungle. The cause of the jet crash has not been disclosed by the authorities.
Just minutes before the plane vanished from radar, the pilot had reported engine issues, according to Colombia’s disaster response agency. Though Colombia is fairly hilly terrain, it also has its share of the evergreen Amazon forests which extend from there deep into neighbour Brazil.