By Luis Jaime Acosta
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Four indigenous children who have been missing for more than five weeks in a jungle in southern Colombia following a deadly plane crash arrived in the capital Bogota on Saturday morning for medical treatment.
The siblings were found in Colombia’s Caqueta province on Friday, according to the country’s armed forces, and were initially treated by military doctors who were part of the search teams looking for them.
The mission to find the four siblings, called Operation Hope, captured the imagination of Colombians as news of their whereabouts fueled a desire that they be found safely despite having spent more than a month in the inhospitable jungle.
“We did everything it took to make the impossible possible, using satellites, using planes that dropped messages, that dropped food, that dropped flyers, that dropped hope,” said the General Pedro Sanchez, Commander of the Joint Military Special Operations Command. based in Bogotá.
In photos shared by the Colombian military, the four children – three girls and a boy – looked emaciated as they were picked up by rescuers.
After the plane carrying the children landed in Bogotá, four ambulances were waiting to pick them up and take them to a military hospital for specialized medical treatment.
They had been missing in the jungle since a Cessna 206 carrying seven people on a route between Araracuara, in Caqueta, and San Jose del Guaviare, a town in Guaviare province, issued a distress alert due to a breakdown engine in the early hours of May 1. .
Three adults, including the pilot and the children’s mother, died in the crash and their bodies were found inside the plane. The siblings, aged 13, 9, 4, and a baby now 12 months old, survived the impact.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Jamie Freed)