Colombia’s joy as babies found alive in Amazon weeks after plane crash

image source, Colombian Armed Forces

photo caption,

Soldiers found the crash site earlier in the week, along with evidence of survivors

Four children have been found alive in the rainforests of Colombia, more than two weeks after the plane they were traveling in crashed.

More than 100 soldiers searched the Amazon with sniffer dogs after the plane disappeared into the jungle on May 1.

The bodies of the pilot and two adults were found earlier in the week.

Announcing the news, President Gustovo Petro said their discovery after “arduous search efforts” brought “joy to the country”.

Colombian authorities believe they have been roaming the rainforest since their plane crashed in the southern region of Caqueta.

The Cessna 206 light aircraft was flying between Araraquara in Amazonas province and San Jose del Guaviare, a city in Guaviare province, when it disappeared in the early hours.

Earlier in the week, soldiers found the wreckage of the plane, its nose buried in the forest floor, and the bodies of the three dead.

One of the adult dead, Ranok Mokotoi, was the mother of the four rescued children. They are believed to be between 11 months and 13 years old.

The family is of the Huitoto people, a group indigenous to southeastern Colombia and northern Peru.

Before finding them on Wednesday, the Colombian military said search efforts had intensified after finding an “improvised shelter with sticks and branches”, which indicated the presence of survivors.

Dense rainforest and the extremely isolated location of the accident hampered search efforts, with military aircraft and helicopters assisting search teams on the ground.

One of the helicopters transmitted a recorded message from their grandmother in the Huitoto language telling the children to stop moving through the rainforest, AFP reports.

Colombian authorities have yet to say what caused the crash, but the country’s disaster response agency said the pilot reported engine problems minutes before the plane disappeared from radar systems.

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More than 100 soldiers worked with sniffer dogs to search for the missing children

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