Three children and a baby were reported to have been found alive more than two weeks after a plane crashed with them on board in the Colombian Amazon jungle.
According to international media reports, Colombian authorities had deployed more than 100 soldiers with sniffer dogs to search for the children who were travelling in a plane that crashed in the Amazon 17 days ago, killing three adults.
On Monday and Tuesday, soldiers found the bodies of the pilot and two adults who had been flying from a jungle location to San Jose del Guaviare, one of the main cities in Colombia’s Amazon rainforest. The region has few roads and is also difficult to access by river, so transport by small aeroplane is common.
One of the dead passengers, Ranoque Mucutuy, was the mother of the four children, who are of the Huitoto ethnicity.
Three helicopters have been used to help in the search operation, one of which blasted out a recorded message from the children’s grandmother in the Huitoto language telling them to stop moving through the jungle.
Giant trees that can grow up to 40 metres (131 feet) tall, wild animals and heavy rainfall made the “Operation Hope” search difficult.
Authorities have not indicated what caused the plane crash.
The pilot had reported problems with the engine just minutes before the aeroplane disappeared from radars, the Colombian disaster response body said.