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Columbia. Children survived 40 days in the jungle after a plane crash. “They were alone, and yet they managed”

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Four children survived almost a month and a half in the Amazon jungle after the light aircraft they were traveling in crashed. The siblings were found by the military. Their mother, who died four days after the crash, advised them to go in search of food and help. The children are malnourished and have minor injuries, but they are under the care of doctors.

Colombian television published a video of the moment the missing children were found. They were emaciated, tired but without diseases or serious injuries. The first words they uttered were: “we are hungry, our mother is dead”.

After the plane crash, they traveled across the Amazon for 40 days in search of rescue. The youngest of them is 11 months old, the older siblings – 5, 9 and 13 years old. They survived because the jungle is their natural habitat – they are members of the Uitoto tribe.

– We are indigenous people. I believe in the jungle, which is our mother. The jungle and nature never betrayed us, says Manuel Ranoque, father of the rescued children

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On May 1, the children and their mother went on a few-hour journey by light aircraft. After an engine failure, a small plane crashed in the middle of the jungle. For more than a month, the children walked about 200 kilometers. The pilot and adult passenger died on the spot. The children’s mother lived for four more days. Before she died, she sent them in search of rescue. The siblings had to protect themselves from predators and insects. The walk was made difficult by the downpours. The children got their own food.

– They survived thanks to the tapioca flour they ate. When the flour ran out, they started eating the seeds, says Fidencio Valencia, a relative of the rescued children

Food, which the army dropped from planes looking for children, also turned out to be useful. Over 300 soldiers, supported by the indigenous people, took part in the several-week operation, code-named “Hope”. They searched several hundred square kilometers. The bodies of the victims of the disaster were found two weeks later. The diapers, shoes and towels they left behind helped to track the children.

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The children are under the care of doctors

After a successful search, the siblings were transported to a hospital in Bogotá. The children spend two or three weeks there. They are under the care of their father, grandmother, psychologists and doctors.

– They are malnourished and have minor injuries, after all, they were walking in the jungle for 40 days. These are soft tissue injuries, bites and skin lesions. Nothing serious, said Carlos Rincon, a doctor at the Military Hospital in Bogota.

The history of Colombia is alive all over the world. It is exaggeratedly compared to William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. In the book, a group of boys who survived a plane crash try to survive on a deserted island. However, what happens next does not agree with the story from Colombia – the characters of the novel gradually lose their human reflexes and turn into beasts. Meanwhile, the siblings survived thanks to their cooperation and strong bond.

“These children were alone, and yet they managed. They will go down in history. They are children of peace, children of Colombia, says Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia.

“Hope” campaign is not finished yet. Rescuers are looking for Wilson – a sniffer dog who was instrumental in finding the children and went missing during the operation.

Facts about the world TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MILITARY FORCES OF COLOMBIA



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