Survival tales: the case of the Uruguayan crash in the Andes (II).
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|However, the airplane crashed still on the highest section of the Andes, on Argentine territory (San Juan Province), and was far away from Copiapo's beacon. Thus, it is believed that the accident was provoked by a human mistake, made by a crew that was unfamiliar with the region's winds, and a succession of unusually strong turbulences in the air.
The remaining crew member was insane, and of no use to the rest of the survivors. They had no one trained to lead them during such a situation, no emergency or survival kits, no radios and no help whatsoever.
As temperatures began descending towards -20 degrees Celsius, those able to work transformed the fuselage into a shelter, using whatever they could find: they used the seat's fabrics to make sleeping bags, and the luggage to close all possible openings around and inside the structure. In order to warm themselves up a bit, they slept together.
After a couple of days, they finally consumed all food on board and began looking around for useful objects and comestibles littered elsewhere, but at an altitude around 4.000 metres above sea level and during the winter, little was to be found.
They could listen to local radios, and learned after two weeks that al search efforts had been terminated, and they had been declared disappeared, and despite the fact that once they saw a passing plane, they knew that they were on their own.
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