Colombia is leading the way as they search for 4 children who may have survived the plane crash

Colombians are leading the way as the search continues for four indigenous children who may have survived a deadly plane crash in the Amazon jungle on May 1.

Colombia plane crash children

A soldier stands in front of the wreckage of a Cessna C206 that crashed Thursday, May 18, 2023, in the Solano jungle in Caqueta, Colombia, in a photo released by the press office of the Colombian Armed Forces. The search continues for four indigenous children who survived the deadly May 1 plane crash in the Amazon jungle. On Tuesday, May 16, soldiers found the wreckage and the bodies of three adults, including the pilot and the children’s mother. (Armed Forces of Colombia press office via AP)

The Associated Press

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombians were at the forefront on Friday as they continued the search for four indigenous children who may have survived a deadly plane crash in the Amazon jungle 19 days ago.

The accident occurred in the early hours of May 1 when a Cessna C206 with seven passengers on board declared an emergency due to engine failure. Soon after, the small plane dropped off the radar and a frantic search for survivors began.

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Colombian soldiers found the wreckage on Tuesday, along with the bodies of three adults: the pilot, the driver and the children’s mother. But there was no sign of the young people.

The children, members of the Uitoto indigenous community, have been identified as Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 13; Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 9; Tien Noriel Ronoque Mucutuy, 4; and Cristin Neriman Ranoque Mucutuy, 11 months.

On Wednesday, a breakthrough appeared to be made when Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced on Twitter that the four children had been found alive. But all enthusiasm died down hours later when Petro deleted the tweet, admitting that the children had not, in fact, been found.

“I decided to delete the tweet because the information provided by the ICBF (Colombian Family Welfare Institute) could not be confirmed,” wrote Petro. “I’m sorry what happened. The Military Forces and Indigenous communities continue to work tirelessly to make the country known.”

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Dozens of soldiers, supported by indigenous people from nearby communities, are combing the area where the plane crashed.

The Colombians debated various finds during the search and whether they could be linked to the children, including a baby bottle discovered one day and a pair of scissors found the next day in what appeared to be a temporary shelter of leaves.

Additionally, the company that owns the plane said in a statement that one of its pilots in the area heard from some members of a local indigenous community that the children were heading to a nearby village on a boat along a river. That didn’t happen.

According to another version, the children boarded a boat on the Apaporis River to Cachiporro, an Amazonian village. However, when the ship arrived at its destination, the children were not on board.