Three children and a baby found alive 17 days after plane crash
By Steve Hopkins
Three children and an 11-month-old baby have been found alive 17 days after a plane crash in the Columbian Amazon.
The baby and their siblings, who are aged four, nine, and 13, survived by eating jungle fruits before being found and rescued Wednesday.
The children had been missing after the plane they were traveling in crashed in the dense jungle of Colombia’s Caqueta province.
The Cessna 206 was carrying seven people between Araracuara, in Amazonas province, and San Jose del Guaviare, a city in Guaviare province, when it issued a Mayday alert due to engine failure in the early hours of May 1st.
The bodies of three adults had earlier been found.
The deaths included the pilot of the plane and the mother of the four children from the Huitoto ethnic group.
“After arduous searching by our military, we have found alive the four children who went missing after a plane crash in Guaviare. A joy for the country,” President Gustavo Petro said in a post on Twitter Wednesday.
However, the Guardian reported that there is some confusion over the announcement, with local media suggesting, via military sources, that the children had not been found.
Military sources said the children were not in custody and their whereabouts remained unknown.
Reports said the group may have been found in a remote location by a boatman and were yet to be reached by officials, who said the president had been “misinformed”.
Petro’s tweet has not been removed from Twitter.
Search efforts intensified after rescuers came across a “shelter built in an improvised way with sticks and branches,” leading them to believe there were survivors, MailOnline reported.
The children have been named as Lesly Mucutuy, 13, Soleiny Mucutuy, nine, Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy, four, and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutoy, 11 months.
The mother of the children was named as Magdalena Mucutuy Valencia.