This Article is From Oct 19, 2022

'No Regrets Resorting To Cannibalism': Survivors Of 1972 Andes Plane Crash

Fifty years later, survivors of the Andes Plane Crash recall their horrific ordeal as they ate the flesh of their family and friends to stay alive.

'No Regrets Resorting To Cannibalism': Survivors Of 1972 Andes Plane Crash

The wreckage of 1972 Andes Plane Crash. (Getty Image)

Survivors of a plane crash that took place 50 years ago said they "have no regrets" resorting to cannibalism to prevent death long enough to be rescued, according to a report in Independent. The incident took place on October 13, 1972, when a chartered plane of the Uruguayan Air Force (Flight 571) carrying a rugby team along with their friends and family from Uruguay to Chile crashed in the middle of the Andes mountains due to bad weather, the outlet further said. While 29 passengers were killed in the crash, 13 others died after an avalanche hit in less than three weeks after the crash.

The 16 people who survived faced a long and tiring 72-day wait before they were finally rescued on December 23.

The fateful survivors met on October 13, 2022, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the crash, called "Miracle in the Andes" and recalled what all they had to undergo to stay alive.

With no food left for nourishment, Roberto Canessa, a medical student, suggested the idea of eating the dead bodies scattered around the wreckage. He was the first one to carve up the bodies of his friends using a piece of glass.

"I had to go to their families later to explain," Canessa was quoted as saying by Independent. He further said he would have considered it an "honour" should he have died and "they had used me to live".

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Ramon Sabella, another survivor of the crash, told UK-based The Times, "Of course, the idea of eating human flesh was terrible, repugnant. It was hard to put in your mouth. But we got used to it."

The survivors started by consuming skin and fat strips, before resorting to muscle and brain.

Sabella continued, "In a sense, our friends were some of the first organ donors in the world, they helped to nourish us and kept us alive."

Canessa also said that the survivors had made a pact that if one of them died, the others were obliged to eat their bodies.

Although the rescuers searched for the survivors, they were unable to locate anyone in the dense snow. In 10 days, the survivors heard on the radio that the search for them had been called off, according to New York Post.

Two months after the incident, two survivors Canessa and Parrado headed off to a 10-day journey to seek help. They carried a homemade sleeping bag and rugby socks with human flesh.

On December 22, 1972, helicopters carrying rescue teams reached the survivors and they were moved to safety the next day.

A book by Piers Paul titled 'Alive: The Story of Andes Survivors' documents the horrifying details of the survivors after the plane crash. It was also made into a Hollywood film in 1993.