4 Kids, Including Baby, Still Missing After Plane Crash in Jungle

But footprints offer hope they're still alive
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2023 1:31 AM CDT
Updated Jun 2, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
4 Children Rescued Weeks After Plane Crash—Maybe
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro speaks during the swearing-in ceremony for Gen. William Salamanca as new police chief in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.   (AP Photo/John Vizcaino)
UPDATE Jun 2, 2023 3:00 AM CDT

Colombia's president rescinded his announcement from last month that four children who survived a plane crash in the country's dense jungle had been found—but there is new hope that the children could still be alive. Small footprints were found Tuesday about two miles northwest of the crash site, CBS News reports. "We have a 100% expectation of finding them alive," says the commander of the Joint Command of Special Operations. But, he adds, "It's not like finding a needle in a haystack, it's like finding a tiny flea in a huge rug that moves in unpredictable directions."

May 18, 2023 1:31 AM CDT

More than two weeks after their plane went down in dense Colombian jungle, the country's president says four children who survived the crash have been rescued. He announced on Wednesday that the children, ages 13, nine, four, and 11 months, had gone into the rainforest trying to find help after the three adults who were on the plane, including the pilot, all perished in the crash, the CBC reports. The adults' bodies were found earlier this week. "After arduous searching by our military, we have found alive the four children who went missing after a plane crash in Guaviare. A joy for the country," President Gustavo Petro said Wednesday. But the Guardian reports that "confusion" surrounds Petro's claim.

Local media are reporting that the defense ministry says it has no confirmation the children have been found, the BBC reports. More than 100 troops, as well as sniffer dogs, firefighters, and members of the civil aviation authority, have been searching the rainforest since the May 1 tragedy, when the Cessna 206's engine failed. It was carrying seven people, including the pilot, between Araracuara, in Amazonas province, and San Jose del Guaviare, in Guaviare province. The children involved are members of the Huitoto indigenous community, and their mother was among the dead. There are reports that searchers have found shelters made with vegetation and discarded fruit the children had apparently eaten. (More Colombia stories.)

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