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Four children survived in jungle for 40 days after Amazon plane crash on a single bag of flour and fruit

Kit Roberts

Published 
| Last updated 

Four children survived in jungle for 40 days after Amazon plane crash on a single bag of flour and fruit

Featured Image Credit: KENS 5 / NBC News

The four children who went missing in Colombia following a devastating plane crash managed to survive on a single bag of flour and local fruit for 40 days in the jungle.

The four children were recently found following a massive search and rescue operation involving the Colombian military, as well as local indigenous communities with in depth knowledge of the area.

Forty days earlier, the children had been travelling on an aircraft which crashed into the depths of the Amazon forest not long after taking off on 1 May.

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Their mother, an indigenous leader, and the pilot were sadly killed in the crash. When rescuers arrived at the wreckage they didn't find the children and for some time believed that they weren't alive.

But in the end, the children survived in large part due to the knowledge and understanding of the jungle possessed by the eldest child Lesly, who is 13.

Rescuers found the children after 40 days in the jungle. Credit: Ministry of National Defense of Colombia
Rescuers found the children after 40 days in the jungle. Credit: Ministry of National Defense of Colombia

The group were found by an army sniffer dog after rescuers became hopeful that the four missing children were still alive. This happened during the search operation when rescuers came across footprints, half-eaten pieces of fruit and hair ties which had been left on the ground.

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"The jungle saved them," Colombian president Gustavo Petro said. "They are children of the jungle, and now they are also children of Colombia."

The forty days in the jungle saw the group facing off against a myriad of dangers, including finding food and water, and avoiding dangers from wildlife like jaguars, snakes, and insects, as well as militia groups that operate in the area.

The children, aged 13, nine, four, and one, managed to subsist on a bag of cassava flour that they had salvaged from the wreckage of the plane. Due to their knowledge of which plants were safe, they were also able to find fruit to eat.

After being found, all four children were taken to hospital and are currently receiving care, with medics saying that they were dehydrated when they arrived.

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The children survived off cassava flour and fruit. Credit: Ministry of National Defense of Colombia
The children survived off cassava flour and fruit. Credit: Ministry of National Defense of Colombia

At present, they are not ready for solid food and will need to recuperate before they can eat properly.

They are from the Huitoto community, and the children's grandfather Fidencio Valencia said that they were well acquainted with the jungle.

President Petro also heavily emphasised the collaboration between the military and indigenous groups in the rescue operation, stressing that it represented a moment of unity.

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He tweeted: "The meeting of knowledge: indigenous and military. Here is a different path for Colombia: I believe that this is the true path of Peace.”

Topics: News, Travel, World News

Kit Roberts
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