The eldest 13-year-old took care of her younger siblings aged 9, 4 and 1 after the crash killed their mother and pilots.
An unbelievable story has emerged from Colombia, where four siblings stranded in the Amazon jungle for 40 days managed to survive. The siblings, aged 13, 9, 4 and 1, spent weeks fending for themselves after their light aircraft crashed in the jungle on May 1. The children's mother and two pilots were killed, but the siblings survived, as reported by BBC.
🚨 BREAKING: Four children missing since a May 1st plane crash in the Amazon jungle have just been found alive— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) June 9, 2023
Truly a miracle pic.twitter.com/3R4k9QGVIm
The Colombian military located the plane they were traveling in after the incident, but the children were nowhere to be found, sparking a huge search. Rescuers found items left behind by the children, including a child's drinking bottle, a pair of scissors, a hair tie and a makeshift shelter. They followed small footprints in the jungle, giving them hope during their search. The jungle is a dangerous place, as it is home to predators like jaguars and snakes.
Four children who disappeared in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashed on May 1 have been found alive, Colombia's president says https://t.co/EnSsDHXpNr— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 10, 2023
After 40 days, officials located the children after hearing the cries of the youngest child, Indigenous leader Lucho Acosta told CNN on Saturday. Acosta is the coordinator of indigenous scouts in the Colombian Amazon region, who helped in the search. The children were doing their best to survive when the search teams found them. “They were very weak, we could find them by listening to the cries of the youngest one, but they were really tired, they were no longer on the move, like in the first few weeks,” Acosta said. The siblings were dehydrated, malnourished and covered in insect bites.
Four children (including an infant) were rescued alive from Colombia's Amazon jungle, 40 days after the plane they were travelling in crashed into the jungle.https://t.co/LxUhnMDKK2 pic.twitter.com/dseclpYz7N— RT (@RT_com) June 11, 2023
Colombian President Gustavo Petro said finding the group was a "magical day," adding, "they were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival which will remain in history." Saying that they survived like “children of the jungle,” he added, “Their learning from indigenous families and their learning of living in the jungle has saved them."
“The most important thing now is what the doctors say, they have been lost for 40 days, their health condition must have been stressed. We need to check their mental state too,” he added.
The four Indigenous children who survived 40 days in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashed were recovering Sunday in a military hospital in Colombia, as new details of their harrowing story emerged in a country still mesmerized by their saga. https://t.co/MiNqw9oTsA— The Associated Press (@AP) June 11, 2023
The news was welcomed by dozens of soldiers and local people who worked tirelessly to find the children. “They all added a little effort so that Operation Hope could be successful, and we can hope the kids will emerge alive and stronger than before," Acosta said.
We have been hoping together with the strength of our ancestors, and our strength prevailed,” he added. When they received news that the children were found, “we were very happy, emotional. A lot of people shed a tear or two, but it was a very powerful moment with lots of strength and lots of gratitude for the moment,” he added.
According to CBS News, the children were receiving treatment at hospital during the weekend and some were eager to do more than lying on a bed. The father of the youngest children told reporters that the oldest of the four surviving children told him their mother was alive for about four days after the plane crashed. Just before she died, she likely would have asked them to "go away" from the wreckage site to survive.
A child's uncle revealed that they hid in tree trunks to protect themselves from predators and mosquitos. "They at least are already eating, a little, but they are eating," he said adding, "They have been drawing. Sometimes they need to let off steam." Family members are giving them space and time to heal from the experience.