Crash Survivors Nearly Ate Pilot - The News Junkie
The News Junkie: Crash Survivors Nearly Ate Pilot

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Crash Survivors Nearly Ate Pilot

Survivors Of A Plane Crash In Southern Chile Got Hungry:

chile crash

The survivors and pilot huddled inside the felage, eating crackers and trying to maintain a fire in sub zero temperatures. Pilot Nelson Bahamondes survived the initial impact but slowly bled to death inside the cockpit, finally dying two days after the crash.

Bahamondes, an experienced pilot with an estimated 16,000 hours of flying time, provided leadership and guidance throughout the first two days of the ordeal, explaining to the passengers that a radio transmitter would help rescuers locate the craft. As the food ran out, Bahmondes died.

"He had a cut on his head, a big wound and he lost lots of blood," said Victor Suazo, a Chilean police officer who was aboard the flight. "We couldn't do anything for him and he died around noon on Monday."

Soon after, the survivors' hunger began to deplete their strength and they debated whether to eat the pilot. "We thought about the pilot, I don't know how to say it ... to feed ourselves from him. We thought about this, but some people were not in agreement because the situation was already so extreme."

The accident recalled the 1972 plane crash in which a Uruguayan rugby team crashed into Andean snowfields, then ate dead teammates to survive. The book and film Alive were based on their 72-day struggle to survive.

I interviewed Nando Parrado, one of the survivors of the Andes plane crash depicted in the movie Alive, some time ago. He told me all about situations like this. He didn't avoid questions on cannibalism among survivors and simply said you do 'what you have to do to stay alive'. These folks came real close to being the stars of Alive 2. Luckily, they only had to wait a fraction of the time that Nando Parrado had to wait in the 70's. Otherwise, I imagine they would have followed through with their plan to eat the pilot and whoever else died as time went on.

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