Disasters & Accidents

4 children found alive 40 days after Colombia jungle plane crash

Bogotá, Jun 9 (EFE).- Four children who went missing in the jungles of southern Colombia after a plane crash on May 1 were found alive on Friday, the country’s president announced.

“A joy for the whole country! The 4 children who were lost 40 days ago in the Colombian jungle turned up alive,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said on his Twitter account.

A search and rescue operation had been underway since May 1, when a Cessna 206 plane carrying three adults and siblings, Lesly Mukutuy, 13; Soleiny Mukutuy, 9; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mukutuy, 4, and Cristin Neriman Ronoque Mukutuy, 1, crashed.

The children’s mother, an indigenous leader and the pilot all died in the crash and their bodies were found in the wreckage.

The children were found in a remote area between the departments of Caquetá and Guaviare, where about 200 soldiers, including commanders of the military’s special forces, and indigenous volunteers had been searching for weeks.

Petro confirmed the news of their rescue as soon as he got off the presidential plane from Havana, where a temporary bilateral ceasefire agreement was signed between the government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas on Friday.

“Now I come back, and the first news is that the indigenous communities that were in the search and the military forces together found the children 40 days later,” Petro said.

The army released several photographs in which the four children are seen sitting in a clearing in the middle of the jungle, covered with blankets and surrounded by soldiers and indigenous people.

The children appeared to be in good health although they looked emaciated and malnourished.

The four children were traveling with their mother, another adult and the pilot of the Cessna 206 aircraft operated by Avianline Charters that crashed on May 1.

The three adults died in the crash and their bodies were found several days later, but the four children, who belong to an indigenous community, survived.

“They were alone, they themselves had made an example of total survival, which will go down in history. So these children are today the children of peace and the children of Colombia,” the president added.

After the plane was found, a massive search operation was launched to locate the four children.

Both soldiers and the indigenous volunteers traversed thousands of kilometers across the jungle on foot and scoured the area around the crash site multiple times using helicopter and planes.

A military helicopter was sent to the place where the children were found to transport them to an urban center.

Petro said that depending on the medical evaluation, the children would be transferred on Saturday to San José del Guaviare, the capital of Guaviare, or to Bogotá and that he hoped to visit them shortly. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button