Four ‘Miracle Siblings’ Survive 40 Days in the Amazon Jungle After Plane Crash

Four siblings, aged 13, 9, 5, and 1, miraculously survived a plane crash in one of the most remote areas of Colombia, and then 40 days alone in the Amazon jungle.

On May 1st, 2023, a small Cessna 206 airplane en route to San Jose de Guaviare suffered an engine failure and crashed deep in one of Colombia’s most remote and dangerous regions. Three adults, including the pilot, died in the crash, but the four children on board miraculously survived. However, they were stranded with little to no supplies, in a jungle filled with dangerous snakes, spiders, and mosquitoes, where members of the ex-Farc military group are still active. For 40 days, thousands of volunteers searched for the siblings, and the hope of them being found alive kept millions of Colombians on the tip of their feet. Last week, the miracle everyone was waiting for materialized – the children were found alive and well in a jungle clearing.

Photo: MChe Lee/Unsplash

When a search team found the crashed plane on 16 May in a thick patch of the rainforest along with the three bodies, including the siblings’ mother, there was hope of the kids’ survival, but with each passing day, their chances of being found and rescued dwindled. Adults would have a tough time surviving in such a hostile environment, but these were kids, the youngest of which hadn’t even turned one when the plane crashed. Still, hundreds of volunteers joined the search for them, scouring the jungle and launching supplies kits in an area of 323 sq km.

The military was particularly involved in the rescue efforts, using helicopters to scan the jungle and hundreds of soldiers on the ground. They distributed over 10,000 flyers and hundreds of food kits, even in areas that the four siblings couldn’t possibly have reached on foot. In the end, 40 days, after the plane crash, a search party heard the cries of baby Cristin, who turned one during this ordeal and found the four siblings in a clearing about 3 miles from the plane crash.


Although the four children were obviously shocked and didn’t speak much about their experience in the jungle, authorities are convinced that it was the bravery and survival knowledge of the eldest sister, thirteen-year-old Lesly Mukutuy, that kept them alive. Having learned a lot about the plants and the dangers of the jungle from their grandmother, she was able to identify edible fruits, find water sources and avoid dangerous animals during their 40-day ordeal.

“We have to recognize not only her bravery but also her leadership,” the minister of defense, Iván Velásquez, told journalists. “We can say that it was because of her that her three younger siblings could survive by her side, thanks to her care and her knowledge of the jungle.”


After being treated at a hospital in Bogota, the four siblings will be reunited with their relatives, including their grandparents. The tale of their survival will most likely become the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster in the near future.