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Crazy Plane Crash Leads To Insane Survival Story

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12:31   |   Jul 18, 2019

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Crazy Plane Crash Leads To Insane Survival Story
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  • Imagine you and some of your best buddies are traveling by plane to what you think will
  • be a weekend to remember.
  • Suddenly you experience some bad turbulence, but it’s nothing you haven’t felt before.
  • Then it gets worse.
  • The plane drops through the sky, luggage falls from above.
  • You grab hold of the seat arm; your knuckles whiten as you do so.
  • The next thing you know you are freezing cold, still fastened to your chair, in a part of
  • the plane that broke off.
  • You crash into the earth, but miraculously, you’re still alive.
  • You don’t know it yet, but you have landed in one of the most unforgiving environments
  • known to man.
  • There is nothing but mountains around you, no vegetation, no animals, nothing.
  • You are at least alive, but soon you’ll be hungry.
  • It won’t be long now until your friend tells you, “I’m going to eat the pilot.”
  • As unbelievable as this sounds, it’s exactly what happened.
  • This is the survivor’s story that eclipses all others.
  • It’s a tale of heroism and sadness, a brutal story, and one that we just can’t imagine
  • being part of.
  • Let us start from the beginning.
  • It’s October 12, 1972, a Thursday.
  • Friends who play on the same rugby team from Montevideo, Uruguay, are on their way to a
  • match in Chile.
  • There are 45 of them on board the plane.
  • Not only the young, strong and fit players, but some of the team’s family members as
  • well as some supporters and five crew members.
  • It’s expensive to fly commercially to Chile, so they opted for the cheapest option which
  • in this case was chartering an air force plane.
  • What they don’t know is that this American-made Fairchild FH-227D has the nickname the “lead-sled,”
  • owing to its high weight and relatively weak engines.
  • They’ll also soon find out why it has such an atrocious safety record.
  • All they know now is it’s the cheapest way to fly over the Andes mountain range to play
  • what will be a fun game of rugby in Santiago.
  • That first part of the trip is cut short due to a terrible storm over the Andes and they
  • are forced to stop over in Mendoza, Argentina.
  • There is a direct route to get to Santiago from there, but the plane can’t fly the
  • 25,000 to 26,000 feet (7,600 to 7,900 meters) required to get over the mountains.
  • Instead, they’ll take a route that looks like a U-turn.
  • This route will skip the highest peaks and instead find a way around them.
  • It’s now Friday 13th and they set off again.
  • The atmosphere is fun.
  • The rugby ball is being thrown around the plane, it’s all laughter and games.
  • One of the players, Nando Parrado gives his window seat up for his friend so his buddy
  • can get a better look at the mountains.
  • Nando has no idea that this small gesture will end up saving his life.
  • Not long after, the turbulence starts.
  • At first no one takes it seriously, but then someone points out that the mountains seem
  • to be very close to the plane, like right outside.
  • What they don’t know is the pilot and co-pilot have made a terrible mistake.
  • They told air traffic controllers that they would reach the airport in a minute.
  • They couldn’t see much due to the clouds, and they were wrong about that minute, they
  • were actually 11 minutes away.
  • They were still in mountains and hadn’t reached the safe spot where they could turn
  • right towards the airport.
  • They descended anyway, and were hit by more turbulence as they were right in the middle
  • of mountains where the winds are chaotic.
  • The plane was thrown around, the clouds parted, and the pilots saw a black ridge directly
  • ahead of them.
  • The plane attempted to pull up and accelerate, and now the passengers knew they were in trouble.
  • The aircraft hit the ridge, tearing off the rear of the plane and sending the plane hurtling
  • forward.
  • They are still about 13,800 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level when they likely collided
  • with another mountain causing the wings to come off and leaving just the front part of
  • the fuselage.
  • Those at the back of the plane have been thrown out into the mountain range.
  • Some are alive in the plane, but there is no time to think.
  • Suddenly what’s left of the plane hits a snow-covered mountain.
  • The fact that even this much of the plane survived is incredible.
  • But what’s even more incredible is what happens next.
  • The plane begins sliding down the mountain like a sled but somehow doesn’t collide
  • with any rocky outcrops or boulders, sliding down and down the mountain until finally it
  • comes to a stop at 11,710 feet (3,570 meters) above sea level.
  • Seats have been uprooted and bodies have been bashed against the front of the pilot’s
  • cabin.
  • People are strewn everywhere but many of the passengers have somehow survived.
  • Some are screaming, their limbs twisted, parts of the plane stuck into them.
  • But they are surrounded by glaciers, so remote they don’t even have a name.
  • No one goes there and there’s little hope of being found.
  • It is freezing cold and it’s hard to breathe because the air is so thin at this altitude.
  • Of the survivors, those that are least injured begin to help the less fortunate.
  • Some have broken bones, some are almost dead from internal injuries, Nando is in a coma
  • and will remain in one for three days.
  • Of the 45 passengers aboard the plane, 12 of them died immediately when the plane hit
  • the mountain or fell out of the back of the destroyed aircraft.
  • Some bodies are found still strapped to their chairs, covered in snow, and not far from
  • the crash site.
  • The first night is brutally cold, with temperatures getting as low as -22 degrees fahrenheit (-30
  • degrees celsius).
  • The survivors huddle into the fuselage and try and block up the holes with suitcases.
  • They all mistakenly think that a rescue operation will find them and this will be their only
  • night on the mountain.
  • They could not be more wrong.
  • What they don’t realize is that the planes white coloring means that it cannot be seen
  • from the air.
  • Five more people die from their injuries on that first night.
  • Nando in his coma doesn’t know that his mother is dead and his sister is dying.
  • Both were only on the flight because Nando was told he could use the empty seats for
  • free.
  • Inviting them would turn out to be the biggest regret of his life.
  • The next day the injured are attended to, some still screaming because their legs and
  • arms have been broken in many places.
  • The pilot is dead.
  • The co-pilot, who made that terrible mistake, is found crushed under debris but alive.
  • He tells the survivors that he has a handgun and asks them to shoot him and put an end
  • to his pain.
  • They don’t kill him, but he dies soon after.
  • But now they need food.
  • At high altitudes in such cold temperatures, the body burns calories extremely fast in
  • an attempt to stay warm.
  • All of the luggage is searched, and while there is an endless stock of cigarettes and
  • lots booze, there isn’t much food.
  • In total, there are eight chocolate bars, a tin of mussels, three jars of jam, a tin
  • of almonds, some candy and a few bottles of wine.
  • The survivors immediately make a rationing plan.
  • It’s next to nothing for so many people and they have no idea how long it needs to
  • last them.
  • They have water at the very least,, being able to melt it and funnel it into empty wine
  • bottles.
  • Days pass, and more die.
  • On the tenth day, Nando who is now conscious, holds his sister as she dies in his arms.
  • He would later say that he went to sleep and “woke up in hell.”
  • And yet it will get worse, because they then heard on a transistor radio they had found
  • in the wreckage that the search for them was being called off.
  • They knew they were alone, cold and starving.
  • It was at this point of extreme desperation that Nando told a friend, “I am going to
  • eat the pilot.”
  • In fact, a few of the survivors had been rolling this same idea over in their minds.
  • One of them later told the media, “Our common goal was to survive — but what we lacked
  • was food.
  • We had long since run out of the meagre pickings we’d found on the plane, and there was no
  • vegetation or animal life to be found.
  • After just a few days, we were feeling the sensation of our own bodies consuming themselves
  • just to remain alive.”
  • They didn’t see it as cannibalism.
  • If they were to survive and see their families again, it was what they had to do.
  • There was no choice, eat your buddies, or die.
  • There were 27 people still alive at this point which is a lot of mouths to feed.
  • They started with the pilots, stripping the bodies of all the possible meat including
  • the organs as their starving brains told them, “eat more, eat everything, don’t waste
  • a bit.”
  • On day 17 disaster struck again.
  • In the middle of the night they heard a noise, what one of them later described as sounding
  • like wild horses running at them.
  • It was an avalanche.
  • Snow burst through the hole in the plane and the entire fuselage was packed tight.
  • Those alive scrambled to dig for air and find their friends.
  • Eight more died, and the rest were in the dark, buried in snow, with little air to breathe,
  • for three days.
  • In time the snow would melt and the fuselage would again be sitting on top of the snow.
  • The days passed and they survived by eating more of the dead.
  • They smoked cigarettes and went out on little exploratory missions.
  • But after just a few hundred meters they’d be too tired.
  • The snow was too deep and the air too thin for their weakened state.
  • They were also affected by snow blindness, essentially a sunburning of the eye that comes
  • from the sun reflecting off of the snow.
  • To fight back against their surroundings, they made makeshift snowshoes and sunglasses
  • so they could stray farther.
  • Even then, they were surrounded on all sides by dangerous crevasses.
  • One of the survivors would later say, “We felt like insects trapped in the hugest forces
  • of nature.”
  • They were right, there’s almost no place on Earth where it would be harder for humans
  • to survive.
  • On one sojourn, they found the other part of the fuselage.
  • Inside were batteries for the plane radio as well as some chocolate, a little candy
  • and comic books.
  • They stayed there all night reading the comics by the light of a fire they had built.
  • For a while they had hope that they could use the batteries, but it soon became apparent
  • that hooking up a radio with lots of wires was not something any of them possessed the
  • knowhow to do.
  • As Nando later said, “We were very depressed.”
  • For him, the only option now was to walk right out of the mountains.
  • They were aware that Chile was west and remembered that the pilot has said they weren’t far
  • away from their destination.
  • But they had no way of knowing that they were still 37 miles (59km) from the nearest road.
  • But that wouldn’t be an easy hike.
  • It was 37 miles of glaciers and rough terrain, and they were far from experienced outdoorsman.
  • But Nando knew they had to walk over the mountain range to Chile, it was their only option.
  • They decided they would stock up on human meat and only the strongest would go, Nando,
  • and two others named Roberto Canessa and Antonio Vizintin.
  • On day 61 when the men set off, only 16 survivors remained alive.
  • Some were sick, and everyone was malnourished and beaten by the elements.
  • Before they left a man named Carlitos Páez made them a sleeping bag with parts of the
  • aircraft insulation sewn together with copper wire.
  • Had they not have had that they would have surely frozen to death on their hike to freedom.
  • It took them three days to climb the first mountain.
  • Nando expected to see green valleys from the top of that mountain, but what he saw instead
  • were more mountain ranges.
  • Vizintin turned back and gave his food to the others.
  • Nando and Canessa both said, “We’ll die, but we’ll die trying.”
  • They didn’t die.
  • They walked for days, almost passing out from exhaustion, but on day eight of their walk
  • they found a river, they saw green poking through the melting snow, and most importantly,
  • they saw a person on the other side of the river, though they were unable to cross to
  • the other side to meet him.
  • They slept there that night and the next morning the man came back.
  • He had brought with him a piece of paper and a pen.
  • He tied them to a rock and threw it across the river.
  • Nando wrote on the paper: We are survivors of the plane crash.
  • We have no food.
  • We cannot walk anymore.
  • There are more of us in the mountain.
  • Where are we?” and threw it back.
  • The man went to find help, himself being many hours by horseback from civilization.
  • On day 10 Nando and Canessa were finally picked up by the army.
  • Their skinny bodies carried out on the back of horses.
  • Nando said at that point he was “ready to embrace life again.”
  • Soon helicopters would take Nando to find his friends, with the pilots asking how they
  • could have possibly walked over such terrain without equipment.
  • It was amazing, their journey was tracked by professionals years later and even with
  • the latest equipment they found it hard and very, very dangerous.
  • On day 71 the first of the team was picked up and on day 72 the rest were taken.
  • All were suffering from various ailments but all of those who had still been alive eventually
  • recovered, and in fact only one of them is not alive today.
  • Once the newspapers had stopped cheering for the survivors many began to ask just how they
  • had survived so long without food.
  • It was impossible, literally impossible.
  • Then a photograph taken by the rescuers came to light of a human carcass whose bones had
  • been stripped.
  • The survivors admitted what they had done, and many in the public turned on them, calling
  • them cannibal savages.
  • Nando later said that eating human flesh wasn’t an easy decision, it was a last resort.
  • He said, “We tried to eat strips of leather torn from pieces of luggage, though we knew
  • that the chemicals they'd been treated with would do us more harm than good.
  • We ripped open seat cushions hoping to find straw, but found only inedible upholstery
  • foam.”
  • It was either feast on dead friends or die, and one survivor that was reluctant to turn
  • to cannibalism actually did die.
  • But 16 of the survivors decided that they would do whatever it would take to stay alive,
  • and because of it, they made it down off the mountain.
  • With that in mind, would you have done the same?
  • Tell us in the comments.
  • Also, be sure to check out our other video Cannibal Island: The Real Battle Royale.
  • Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.
  • See you next time.

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Description

This is one of the craziest survival stories of all time. A plane crashed in the Andes and the survivors were stranded for a total of 72 days! But how did they survive the frozen wild for that long? The real reason will shock you!

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