Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as the Andes flight disaster, was a chartered flight carrying 45 rugby team members and associates that crashed in the Andes on 13 October, 1972. The last of the 16 survivors were rescued on December 23, 1972. More than a quarter of the passengers died in the crash and several more quickly succumbed to cold and injury. Of the twenty-nine who were alive a few days after the accident, another eight were killed by an avalanche that swept over their shelter in the wreckage.
The crash survivors, thinking they would be found and rescued within days, had little food and no source of heat in the harsh climate, at over 3,600 metres (12,000 ft) altitude. Faced with starvation and radio news reports that the search for them had been abandoned, the survivors fed on the dead passengers who had been preserved in the snow. Rescuers did not learn of the survivors until 72 days after the crash when passengers Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, after a 12-day trek across the Andes, found a Chilean huaso, who gave them food and then alerted authorities about the existence of the other survivors.
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The ill-fated plane before take-off
The site where the plane crashed in the cold Andes at 12,000 feet.
The survivors rejoice at the arrival of rescue teams
The two heroes with the man who saw them first: Parrado and Canessa with Sergio Catalan
The survivors wave at the rescue team
On way to safety
The survivor cannibals