Published on 25 Jun 2015 Sections ,

Miracle survival of mother and baby after jungle plane crash

A teenage mother and her young son are found alive and virtually unscathed five days after the plane they were travelling in crashed in a jungle area of Colombia.

Eighteen-year-old Maria Nelly Murillo was found with one-year-old son Yudier Moreno beside a river in a ravine some 500 metres from the crash site. She had minor injuries and some burns after returning to rescue her son from the burning plane.

Baby Yudier Moreno in the arms of a rescuer (Colombian Air Force)

One-year-old Yudier Moreno in the arms of a rescuer.

Rescuers said they had never given up hope of finding her as she had left a trail of clues including her baby’s birth certificate.

Jungle survival

Fearing an explosion Murillo had left the crash site and walked, lost, in the jungle. Lack of signal meant she was unable to raise the alarm using her mobile, but she made a roof to shelter from the rain and came across a couple of indigenous people who helped her.

Local media reported that Murillo had survived by drinking coconut water and water from tree leaves so she could continue breastfeeding her child.

The twin-engine Cessna plane disappeared 20 minutes into its flight to the Pacific coast on 20 June.

The search and rescue operation was launched straight away, but the Colombian air force did not locate the wreckage, and the body of the pilot, for another two days. Murillo and her son were discovered on 25 June.

The twin-engine Cessna plane disappeared 20 minutes into its flight to the Pacific coast on 20 June. The search and rescue operation was launched straight away, but the Colombian air force did not locate the wreckage, and the body of the pilot, until 22 June.

Murillo was discovered on 25 June.

During the search the Air Force used loudspeakers from a helicopter to ask her to return to the crash site to help them find her.

Doctors said the baby had no signs of injury and was just a little dehydrated.