A Doomed Flight & 72 Days of Survival That Resulted in Cannibalism

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A Doomed Flight & 72 Days of Survival That Resulted in Cannibalism

Post by planeanxiety » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:50 pm

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 was a chartered flight that crashed on a glacier in the remote Andes in 1972. Among the 45 people on board, 28 survived the crash. Facing starvation and death, the survivors reluctantly resorted to cannibalism. After 72 days on the glacier, 16 people were rescued.

The flight, carrying 19 members of a rugby team, family, supporters, and friends originated in Montevideo, Uruguay and was headed for Santiago, Chile. While crossing the Andes, the inexperienced co-pilot who was in command mistakenly believed they had reached Curicó, Chile, despite instrument readings that indicated otherwise. He turned north and began to descend towards what he thought was Pudahuel Airport. Instead, the aircraft struck the mountain, shearing off both wings and the rear of the fuselage. The forward part of the fuselage careened down a steep slope and came to rest on a glacier. Three crew members and more than a quarter of the passengers died in the crash, and several others quickly succumbed to cold and injuries.

On the tenth day after the crash, the survivors learned from a transistor radio that the search had been called off. Faced with starvation and death, those still alive agreed that should they die, the others might consume their bodies in order to live. With no choice, the survivors ate the bodies of their dead friends. Seventeen days after the crash, 27 remained alive when an avalanche filled the rear of the broken fuselage they were using as shelter, killing eight more survivors. The survivors had little food and no source of heat in the harsh conditions. They decided that a few of the strongest people would hike out to seek rescue. Sixty days after the crash, passengers Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, lacking mountaineering gear of any kind, climbed from the glacier at 3,570 metres (11,710 ft) to the 4,670 metres (15,320 ft) peak blocking their way west. Over 10 days they trekked about 38 miles (61 km) seeking help. The first person they saw was Chilean arriero Sergio Catalán, who gave them food and then rode for ten hours to alert authorities. The story of the passengers' survival after 72 days drew international attention. The remaining 14 survivors were rescued on 23 December 1972, more than two months after the crash.

The survivors were concerned about what the public and family members of the dead might think about their acts of eating the dead. There was an initial public backlash, but after they explained the pact the survivors made to sacrifice their flesh if they died to help the others survive, the outcry diminished and the families were more understanding. The incident was later known as the Andes flight disaster and, in the Hispanic world, as El Milagro de los Andes (The Miracle of the Andes).

Read More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguayan ... Flight_571

Read More: https://www.britannica.com/event/Urugua ... flight-571

Movie: Alive 1993 -> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106246/

Movie: I Am Alive: Surviving the Andes Plane Crash 2010 -> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1776935/

Movie: Stranded: I've Come from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains 2007 -> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1157720/

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