Mum, baby survive jungle plane crash

A Red Cross member carrying Yudier Moreno after he and his mother Nelly Murillo were rescued in Quibdo, Colombia, yesterday.
A Red Cross member carrying Yudier Moreno after he and his mother Nelly Murillo were rescued in Quibdo, Colombia, yesterday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

BOGOTA - A mother and her infant son who disappeared in a plane crash in the dense jungles of north-western Colombia several days ago were found alive and well on Wednesday, in what the authorities called a "miracle".

Ms Nelly Murillo, 18, and her son Yudier Moreno, not yet one year old, were discovered near the site where the Cessna 303 crashed last Saturday in thick brush.

"It's a miracle. It is a very wild area and it was a catastrophic accident," Colonel Hector Carrascal, commander of the Colombian Air Force in the Antioquia department, said. "His mother's spirit must have given him strength to survive," he said of the baby.

Ms Murillo and her son were taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

"The lady has wounds and minor burns and, apparently, the child is unharmed," the Colombian Air Force said in a statement.

The plane's pilot, Captain Carlos Mario Ceballos, died in the crash and rescuers found his body in the aircraft. They discovered the doors of the plane were ajar and suspected that survivors may have climbed out.

A 14-person search-and-rescue team then scoured the dense forest for several days before finding the mother and child.

The rescue team was on the last day of its work when the mother and child were found near the crash site, Col Carrascal said.

The plane offered air taxi services between remote areas in north-west Colombia. It was travelling between Nuqui and Quibdo when it was declared missing, the authorities said.

Investigators are trying to find out the cause of the crash.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline 'Mum, baby survive jungle plane crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe