Four Indigenous children who survived a minor plane accident 40 days earlier and were the focus of a frantic search in the Amazon jungle that put Colombians on edge were discovered alive by Colombian police.
President Gustavo Petro informed reporters upon his arrival back in Bogota from Cuba, where he signed a cease-fire agreement with leaders of the National Liberation Army rebel group, that the youngsters were unaccompanied when searches discovered them and are currently receiving medical attention.
The president declared the children to be “examples of survival” and stated that their story “will remain in history.”
The Cessna single-engine propeller plane carrying seven people and a pilot made an emergency declaration owing to an engine failure in the early hours of May 1. This is when the tragedy occurred.
Shortly after the little plane vanished from radar, a desperate hunt for survivors started. The bodies of the three adults were discovered nearby after their deaths.
The search team discovered the wreckage in a dense area of the rainforest on May 16—two weeks after the crash—and recovered the bodies of the adults, but the young children were not among them.
Sensing that they might still be alive, Colombia’s army intensified its search for the four siblings, ages 13, 9, 4, and 11 months, and flew 150 soldiers into the area with dogs to find them. Numerous Indigenous tribe volunteers also contributed to the search.
The children were bundled in thermal blankets as the soldiers and volunteers posed for photos with them, according to images the military tweeted on Friday. The tiniest youngster was given a bottle by one of the troops.
The military command of Colombia stated on its Twitter account that “the combination of our efforts made this possible.”