four indigenous childrenThe incident killed three adults, who wandered alone in the jungle for 40 days before being found alive by Colombian soldiers.
Officials in the South American country announced the rescue on Friday, giving a happy ending to a story of highs and lows as search parties frantically scour the rainforest to find the youngsters. By Saturday, the children had been treated in a military hospital in the capital Bogota, but it remains unclear how the siblings, including the 11-month-old, survived.
After returning from Cuba, President Gustavo Petro celebrated the news and signed a ceasefire with representatives of the National Liberation Army rebels. He will meet with his children on Saturday.
Petro called them “surviving examples” and predicted their stories “will go down in history”.
“The children are fine,” the children’s aunt, Damaris Muktui, told the radio station, despite signs of dehydration and insect bites. Muktui, who arrived at the hospital at dawn with other family members, said her children were provided with mental health services.
Air Force video showed a helicopter using a string to pull the youths out after they failed to land in the dense rainforest where they were found. The plane took off in fading light, and the Air Force announced it was headed for San Jose del Guaviare, a small town on the edge of the jungle.
How four brothers aged 13, 9, 4 and 11 months, despite belonging to an indigenous people living in a remote area, were able to survive alone for such a long period of time. not revealed.
The military tweeted a photo on Friday of a group of soldiers and volunteers posing with children wrapped in thermal blankets. One of the soldiers put the bottle to the lips of the smallest child.
The crash occurred in the early hours of May 1, when a Cessna single-engine propeller plane carrying six passengers and a pilot declared a state of emergency due to engine failure.
The small plane quickly went off radar and a desperate search for survivors began. Two weeks after the crash, on May 16, a search team found the plane in dense rainforest and recovered the bodies of the three adults on board, but the young children were nowhere to be found.
Sensing that they might be alive, the Colombian military stepped up the search and flew 150 soldiers with dogs to the area. Dozens of indigenous volunteers also helped in the search.
During the search, in an area where visibility was severely restricted by fog and thick foliage, soldiers in helicopters dropped crates of food into the jungle in hopes of saving the lives of children. Planes flying over the jungle fired flares to aid in the nighttime search for ground crew, while rescuers used speakers to play messages recorded by the brothers’ grandmothers, telling them to stay in one place. told to
Rumors of missing children also surfaced, with the president tweeting on May 18 that the children had been found. He then deleted his message, claiming he was given false information by a government agency.
A group of four children were traveling with their mother from the Amazonian village of Araraquara to San Jose del Guaviare when the plane crashed.
They are members of the Hoitoto tribe, and officials say the oldest children in the group had some knowledge of how to survive in the rainforest.
On Friday, after confirming that the children had been rescued, the president said for some time by one of the nomadic tribes still roaming the remote areas of the jungle where the plane crashed and had little contact with the authorities. He said he believed the children had been rescued. .
But Mr Petro added that the children were first found by one of the rescue dogs the soldiers had taken into the jungle.
Authorities did not say how far the children were from the crash site when they were found. However, the team was searching within a radius of 4.5 kilometers (almost 3 miles) from where the small plane plummeted to the forest floor.
As the search progressed, soldiers found small clues in the jungle that suggested the children were still alive, including a pair of footprints, a baby bottle, a diaper, and a piece of fruit that looked like it had been bitten by a human.
“The jungle saved them,” Petro said. “They are children of the jungle, but now they are also children of Colombia.”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/missing-colombian-children-found-alive-plane-crash/ Four children missing in Colombian jungle found alive after 40 days missing