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A Mom And Her Baby Survived For Five Days In The Jungle After A Plane Crash

The Colombian Air Force found the "miracle" mother and child alive in the the country's Choco province Wednesday after their light aircraft crashed on Saturday.

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The Colombian Air Force rescued an 18-year-old mother and her one-year-old baby from the jungle in the country's Choco province Wednesday — five days after they survived a light aircraft crash.

The plane disappeared from radar twenty minutes after takeoff from the coastal town of Nuqui on Saturday, Colombia's Semana reported.

Colombian Air Force / EPA

The aircraft carrying Maria Nelly Murillo Moreno and her baby son Judier was a Cessna 303 with the registration HK-4677, which was carrying a cargo of fish and coconuts to the town of Quibdó, the air force said in a statement.

After the pilot failed to respond to calls from the civil aviation authority, a search plane was dispatched and the Colombian air force, Red Cross, fire service and police were sent to join the operation.

However, the wreckage was not spotted until two days later on Monday, when a small white dot was seen in the thick jungle foliage by a helicopter.

The cause of the crash is still unknown, the BBC reported.

When rescuers arrived at the wreckage on Monday, the plane's pilot — Carlos Mario Ceballos — was found dead in the cockpit, with no sign of the mother and child, who authorities knew were on board the plane because they were listed on the passenger register. Hopes were lifted when they noticed the plane's cabin door was slightly ajar.

Hector Carrascal of the Colombian Air Force said: "It could have opened on impact, but it could have been opened from the inside. But that's when we started to worry. We didn't have a clue what had happened to them: They could be lost in the jungle trying to survive or they could have died already," according to the BBC.

However, they noticed discarded coconut shells, a sandal and the baby's birth certificate near the plane, and guessed Murillo may have been attempting to leave a trail for rescuers.

A Black Hawk helicopter was assigned to circle the area, using a loudspeaker to ask Murillo: "Nelly, please come back, we're looking for" and "Nelly, we want to hear from you," Semana reported.

Murillo and her baby were eventually found on Wednesday, down a ravine along the banks of a river about 500m from the crash site, the BBC reported.

Carrascal said: "It's a miracle. It is a very wild area and it was a catastrophic accident. His [Judier's] mother's spirit must have given him strength to survive."

Murillo told rescuers she sustained burns from rescuing the baby from a fire in the plane's cabin. She had travelled away from the plane as she was afraid it may explode, the BBC said.

Although details are sketchy, local media reported she was helped by a couple of indigenous people she came across, and was able to survive on the plane's cargo of coconuts.

The pair were then airlifted to a hospital in Quibdo. Judier is said to be unharmed, but Nelly is receiving treatment for her injuries.

The Colombian Air Force have posted a number of pictures and videos following the rescue on their Facebook page.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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