Mom Briefly Survived Crash That Stranded 4 Kids in Amazon

Children apparently reported their mother was alive for the first 4 days or so
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2023 1:30 AM CDT
Mom Briefly Survived Crash That Stranded 4 Kids in Jungle
In this photo released by Colombia's Armed Forces Press Office, soldiers and Indigenous men tend to the four Indigenous children who were missing after a deadly plane crash in the Solano jungle, Caqueta state, Colombia, Friday, June 9, 2023.   (Colombia's Armed Force Press Office via AP)

More details of the 40 days that four indigenous children survived in the Amazon jungle are coming out, and one is particularly heartbreaking. After their single-engine propeller plane plane crashed in Colombia on May 1, the children's mother survived for about four days. That's according to the father of two of the children, who says the eldest child—a 13-year-old girl given much of the credit for keeping her siblings, a 9-year-old, a 4-year-old, and an 11-month-old who turned one during the ordeal, alive—told him so, the Guardian reports. "Before she died, she said to them: ‘Maybe you should go,'" to increase their chances of being rescued, he said, per the AP.

The children's aunt says they are dehydrated and have bug bites; their uncle says the children told him they hid in tree trunks for protection from the mosquitoes as well as snakes and other animals in the jungle. By the time they were rescued, "the minor children were already very weak," says the leader of the search effort. "They were only strong enough to breathe or reach a small fruit to feed themselves or drink a drop of water in the jungle." They are now being rehydrated before they can eat much food, and are expected to be hospitalized at least two weeks.

What's still not clear is why they weren't found earlier despite search teams reportedly passing as close as 66 feet away from them on multiple occasions, but relatives say they may have been scared of the uniformed search party and barking dogs and tried to remain hidden. One dog involved in the rescue effort, though, is thought to have spent some time with the children and to have left tracks that helped rescuers find them, but he himself has not yet been found. The oldest child reportedly told rescuers "a dog who was lost, that didn’t know where to go, ... accompanied us for a while." (More Colombia stories.)

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