Roberto Canessa relives a plane crash in the Andes 45 years ago
On December 21, 1972, two members of a rugby team from Uruguay – who had been walking through the snow-capped Andes mountains in search of civilization – encountered a shepherd.
They told him they had been in a plane crash and had been walking for ten days. They had no food and were weak. There were fourteen others still back on the plane.
The shepherd rode on horseback for eight hours to contact police, who sent helicopters to find the crash site.
It was over two months earlier, on October 13, 1972, when the chartered plane carrying the rugby team to Santiago, Chile, crashed in the Andes mountains.
Initially, 33 people remained alive. For 70 days, the survivors endured temperatures of 22 degrees below zero waiting for help. It never came.
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