On Friday (June 9), four Colombian children were found alive after being missing for more than a month in a deadly jungle plane crash.
According to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, the children – aged 11 months to 13 years – were passengers on the plane that crashed on May 1. The flight took off from the southern city of Araracuara en route to northern Colombia when it suffered engine failure.
The pilot of the Cessna C206 declared an emergency before the crash. Two weeks after the crash, authorities found the remains of the plane, the pilot and co-pilot, and the remains of the children’s mother, Magdalena Mucutuy.
The 33-year-old mother was traveling with her four children: a 13-year-old, a 9-year-old, a 4-year-old, and an 11-month-old baby.
El Tiempo reported that the minors were discovered 40 days after the plane crash — by uniformed officials assisted by indigenous people.
The children were reported to be malnourished and received immediate medical attention. Authorities were confident they would find the children alive after recently finding tracks in the jungle.
Last week, authorities identified footprints that may have belonged to a 13-year-old girl, which could indicate that the children found their way out of the jungle.
Since the children belonged to the native Huitoto, they probably managed to pass through the jungle and identify edible fruits, reports the BBC.
General Pedro Sánchez, head of the Joint Command Special, told The Associated Press earlier that he had the “expectation of finding them alive” with 100 percent certainty.
Sánchez highlighted that they had found “elements that are very complex to find in the jungle,” pointing to the discovery of the lid of a baby bottle as an example, but emphasized that although they had found those items, they hadn’t found the rest “Because the children are on the move.”
According to Sánchez, the rescue team even used helicopters that played the voice of the children’s grandmother to find them.