Four Children Lost After Plane Crash Found Alive After 40 Days In Colombian Jungle

Photo by MICHAEL DANTAS/AFP via Getty Images

John Oyewale Contributor
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Four Indigenous Colombian children who had vanished for 40 days after a small plane in which they were flying crashed into the Amazon rainforest were found Friday, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The four siblings were flying early May 1 with three adults including their mother and the pilot from Araracuara, a village in the Amazon rainforest, to San Jose del Guaviare, a small city on the edge of the rainforest, according to the news report. The Cessna single-engine propeller plane then reportedly suffered an engine failure and disappeared from radar. A search party comprising Colombian soldiers and Indigenous volunteers combed through the jungle, braving bad weather and wild animals, and found the wreckage of the plane and the bodies of all three adults about two weeks after the crash.

The nation-gripping search for the children progressed, with the searchers blasting a recording of the children’s grandmother’s voice in spite of the heavy rains, as clues such as footprints, a bottle and used diapers were found, according to CBS News. (RELATED: Air Traffic Control Lost Contact With Pilot Minutes Into Doomed Flight That Crashed In Virginia Mountains)

The searchers eventually found the children all together. A relieved Colombian President Gustavo Petro tweeted a photograph of Colombian soldiers tending to the children, with the words: ‘A joy for the whole country!’

The names of the children of Magdalena Mucutuy, their mother, were reported as Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy (13 years old), Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy (9), Tien Ranoque Mucutuy (4) and baby Cristin Ranoque Mucutuy, according to CNN.

Aging planes and treacherous terrain make flying over the Amazon a precarious venture, with nearly 54 (8.74%) of the 641 confirmed civil aviation accidents in Colombia since 1996 occurring in the Amazon, despite the rainforest being home to less than 2% of Colombia’s population, according to the CNN report.

The children are reported to be receiving medical attention. Details of how they survived are not immediately available, according to AP News.