Survivors of the Uruguayan aircraft crash in the Chilean Andes over two months ago attended a church service in thanksgiving for their lives on Saturday (December 23) following their 2 1/2-month ordeal before rescue by helicopter.
Survivors of the Uruguayan aircraft crash in the Chilean Andes over two months ago attended a church service in thanksgiving for their lives on Saturday (December 23) following their 2 1/2-month ordeal before rescue by helicopter. They'd been brought down the mountainside on Friday and Saturday (December 22 and 23) after two of the survivors had trekked down from the mountains to call for help. of the 45 aboard the aircraft, 16 survived.
SYNOPSIS: At a hospital in the small town of San Fernando in Chile on Saturday, survivors of the Uruguayan aircraft crash who lived for seventy days in a gruelling bid for life, were recovering after a helicopter rescue from high in the Andes.
Sixteen of the forty-five people aboard the aircraft survived. The twenty-nine dead included the five crew and all six women passengers. The aircraft, a Fokker Friendship of the Uruguayan Air Force, was taking a Uruguayan university rugby team and its supporters to a series of matches in Chile. Shortly before the crash, the pilot radioed that he was losing altitude and control. The radio then went dead, and nothing more was heard until two of the youngest and fittest survivors staggered into a small village down the mountainside and alerted rescue teams -- who brought out the others by helicopter. They said they'd all survived on strict rationing of food and water, and through the will of God.
Later in the day the survivors and some friends and relatives attended church thanksgiving service. They also talked to newsmen about the horrifying seventy days -- about how they and searched for a way out of the mountain; had tended the wounded; and about how, when they finally ran out of food, they selected the two youngest and fittest survivors to go for help. The two trekked through the bitterly cold mountains for ten days before stumbling into a remote village and raising help - long after the original search had long been abandoned.