Tribes to rescue after rainforest plane crash
AMAZON tribes who rarely encounter outsiders have saved the lives of nine people after a Brazilian plane crashed.
The indigenous people notified the authorities after they found the survivors close to a remote river deep in the rainforest, Brazil's government said.
The small military plane, which went missing on Thursday, was carrying four crew members and seven health officials on a vaccination campaign in the remote jungle region.
"We are happy to be alive. The plane stopped in mid-air and we panicked. The pilot plunged the plane into the river," one of the survivors said after being airlifted to Cruzeiro do Sul, a small town in Acre state.
The single-prop Cessna Caravan landed on the Itui river, a tributary to the Javari river, in the far western Amazon region. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.
Members of the Matis tribe spotted the wreckage and contacted local authorities. Men from two tribes then helped clear a route through the forest.
The site is close to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia and Peru meet. It is part of a reservation the size of Portugal that is home to a dozen tribes. Some have never encountered anyone from the outside world.
The Cruzeiro do Sul hospital said the survivors appeared unscathed.
The Brazilian Air Force said divers continued to search the river for two missing people, a passenger and a member of the crew.
Their plane took off on Thursday morning from Cruzeiro do Sul and was scheduled to land two hours later in the city of Tabatinga in Amazonas state, about 300 miles to the northeast.
Local tribes also located officials and helped in the retrieval of a Boeing 737 operated by Brazilian carrier Gol that crashed into the Amazon in 2006, killing all 154 people on board.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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