Disasters & Accidents

Rescued Colombian kids in “acceptable” condition, doctors say

Bogota, Jun 10 (EFE).- The four Colombian children who spent 40 days lost in the jungle after surviving a plane crash are in “acceptable clinical condition,” a physician at the Central Military Hospital in Bogota said Saturday.

Thorough examinations have allowed the multidisciplinary team caring for the youngsters to rule out any life-threatening injuries or conditions, Gen. Carlos Rincon Arango told reporters.

Even so, he said that the children are likely to remain hospitalized for “between two and three weeks” as they recover from their ordeal.

Lesly Mukutuy, 13; Soleiny Mukutuy, 9; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mukutuy, 5; and 1-year-old Cristin Neruman Ranoque were found late Friday in a remote corner of jungle along the border between the southern provinces of Guaviare and Caqueta after a weeks-long search by more than 200 military personnel and indigenous people who live in the area.

They were taken by helicopter to San Jose del Guaviare, where the kids were loaded onto a specially outfitted C-295 air ambulance for the flight to Bogota.

It was May 1 when a Cessna 206 operated by Avianline Charter crashed with seven people aboard.

Two weeks later, searchers discovered the wreckage of the plane along with the bodies of the pilot, the children’s mother, and another adult, but no trace of the kids.

Surmising that the children had survived the crash and set out to find help, authorities launched “Operation Hope.”

President Gustavo Petro, first lady Veronica Alcocer, and Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez led a delegation of government officials to the hospital on Saturday to visit the children.

Velasquez hailed Lesly as a heroine, crediting her “valor” and “knowledge of the jungle” for enabling her three younger siblings to survive.

The minister went on to praise the military for their efforts and “the indigenous communities who supported, contributed” to Operation Hope. EFE jga/dr

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