Four Children Rescued 40 Days After Plane Crash
A weeks-long search has ended happily: four children missing since a plane crash in Colombia's jungle have been found alive after 40 days. "A joy for the entire country!" wrote President Petro.
Over a month after a small plane crashed in the Colombian rainforest, four surviving children have been rescued from the jungle.
After a weeks-long search operation in the Amazon region, rescue teams found the siblings aged 13, 9, 4, and one year old in the south of the country, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced.
"A joy for the entire country. The four children who have been missing in the Colombian rainforest for 40 days have been found alive," the president wrote on Twitter. Along with the message, he shared a photo of soldiers and indigenous people providing water and food to the rescued children.
Petro had just returned from Cuba where he signed a ceasefire agreement with representatives of the National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group.
Abandoned items helped with the search
The siblings were on board a Cessna 206 propeller plane when it crashed on May 1 in the department of Caquetá in the south of the country. Private small planes are often the only means of transportation for longer distances in the rugged region.
At the crash, the children's mother, the pilot, and an indigenous leader were killed. During the search for the missing children, soldiers found shoes, diapers, hair ties, a purple scissors, a baby bottle, a makeshift shelter built of leaves and branches, as well as half-eaten fruits.
Using the found items and traces, the soldiers were able to reconstruct the children's path. The rainforest in the region is very dense, which significantly complicated the search for the missing children. Besides, it rains practically non-stop.
The children - three girls and a boy - themselves belong to an indigenous community. Their knowledge of the region may have helped them survive in the jungle after the plane crash.