Soldiers and Indigenous men tend to the four Indigenous brothers who were missing after a deadly plane crash, in the Solano jungle, Caqueta state, Colombia
Four children were found on Friday more than five weeks after their plane crashed in Columbia’s thick Amazon jungle on May 1, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro has announced.
The siblings were rescued by the military near the border between Colombia’s Caqueta and Guaviare provinces, close to where the plane had crashed, according to a Reuters report.
The siblings, aged 13, nine, four and a one-year-old baby, were on board the Cessna 206 plane with their mother, a pilot and a co-pilot when it crashed. Their mother and the pilots on board the plane died in the mishap.
Photos shared by Colombia’s military showed a group of soldiers with the four children in the middle of the jungle.
“A joy for the whole country! The four children who were lost … in the Colombian jungle appeared alive,” Petro said in a message via Twitter.
Colombia’s president had came under severe criticism last month when he announced in a tweet that the children had been found.
He erased the tweet the next day saying that the information, given to his office the country’s child welfare agency, could not be confirmed.
The children have since been flown to Colombia’s capital Bogota, where ambulances were waiting to take them to hospital for further medical treatment.
Preliminary information after the crash from the civil aviation authority suggested the children escaped the wreckage and wandered into the rainforest to find help, Reuters news agency reported.
A massive search began in May. Rescuers recovered items left behind by the children. Small footprints were also discovered, which showed they had survived the crash.
Since the children belong to the local Huitoto tribe and members of their community hoped that their knowledge of fruits and jungle survival skills would enable them to survive.
Rescuers, supported by search dogs, had previously found discarded fruit the children ate to survive, as well as improvised shelters made with jungle vegetation.
Airplanes and helicopters from Colombia’s army and air force participated in the rescue operations.