The 17 days of ordeal came to an end when all the 41 trapped workers were rescued safely. The miners from Hooghly are expected to reach their residence on Sunday.
The children rescued after the Columbian plane crash in Amazon have said they lost their mother due to injuries within a day of the plane crash. They saw her dying in front of their eyes. The older siblings aged between five and 13 years knew that their mother was dead when she stopped moving but the one-year-old kept crying incessantly unaware of what had happened.
General Pedro Sanchez, who led the rescue operation of children revealed that they were found in a small forest clearing, approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from the crash site. Unfortunately, the rescue teams had unknowingly passed near the children on a couple of occasions, missing them by a mere 20 to 50 meters (66 to 164 feet).
Following the crash, it took two weeks for a search team to locate the plane within a dense area of the rainforest. Tragically, the bodies of the three adults on board were recovered, but the whereabouts of the young children remained unknown.
In a heartfelt attempt to sustain the children’s strength, food boxes were dropped from helicopters into the jungle. At night, planes flew overhead, firing flares to assist the ground search crews. Moreover, the rescuers utilized speakers that transmitted a recorded message from the children’s grandmother, urging them to stay in one place.
To aid in the search efforts, Colombia’s army dispatched 150 soldiers with specially trained dogs. However, their progress was hindered by mist and dense foliage, severely limiting visibility. Numerous volunteers from Indigenous tribes also joined the search, working alongside the military.
Luis Acosta, the coordinator of the Indigenous guard involved in the Amazon search, described the discovery of the children as a blend of traditional and modern techniques. He emphasized the collaboration between ancestral wisdom and Western knowledge, including both military tactics and traditional methods.
According to officials and relatives, the children sustained themselves by ingesting cassava flour, seeds, and indigenous fruits found in the rainforest. Their resilience and resourcefulness are particularly noteworthy as they are members of the Huitoto Indigenous group.
The four Indigenous children, who endured 40 days in the Amazon jungle after the plane crash, have shared limited yet distressing accounts of their ordeal with their family. One of the older siblings, 13-year-old Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, recounted how their mother survived for approximately four days after the crash before succumbing to her injuries. Although further details were not provided by Manuel Ranoque, the father of the two youngest children, it is believed that their mother likely encouraged them to leave the wreckage site in order to survive.
The children, accompanied by their mother, were on a journey from the village of Araracuara in the Amazon region to the town of San Jose del Guaviare when the unfortunate plane crash occurred.
Due to the gradual and fragmented nature of the emerging details, it may take some time to fully comprehend the extent of the children’s ordeal and the actions they took to survive.
After their rescue on Friday, the children were airlifted to Bogota in a helicopter and subsequently transferred to a military hospital. There, they met with President Gustavo Petro, government and military officials, as well as their family members on Saturday, providing an opportunity for support and reunification.