Colombian president retracts claim that children missing in jungle have been found
BOGOTA (Reuters) – The fate of four children missing after a plane crash in southern Colombia was unclear on Thursday after President Gustavo Petro deleted a Tweet saying they had been found alive, adding in a new post that reports of their discovery were unconfirmed. and research still ongoing.
The children have been missing since May 1, when the plane they were traveling in crashed in thick jungle.
Petro said in the now-deleted Twitter post on Wednesday that the children, aged 13, 9 and 4, along with an 11-month-old baby, had been found alive after an arduous search by members of the armed forces.
“I have decided to delete the tweet as it has not been possible to confirm the information provided by (the child protection agency),” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing. .
“I’m sorry that happened,” he said. “At the moment, there is no other priority than to advance in the search until you find them. The lives of the children are the most important.
The plane – a Cessna 206 – was carrying seven people on a route between Araracuara, in the province of Amazonas, and San Jose del Guaviare, a city in the province of Guaviare, when it issued a Mayday alert due to an engine failure in the early hours of May 1. .
Three adults, including the pilot, died as a result of the crash and their bodies were found inside the plane.
Preliminary information from the Civil Aviation Authority, which coordinated the rescue efforts, suggests the children escaped the plane and headed into the rainforest to find help.
Rescuers, backed by search dogs, had previously found discarded fruit that children were eating to survive, as well as makeshift shelters made of jungle vegetation.
Planes and helicopters from the Colombian army and air force took part in the rescue operations.
(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta and Oliver GriffinWriting by Oliver Griffin and Alistair Bell)
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