This is the incredible moment when four children who spent 40 days lost in the Colombian jungle after a plane crash are finally rescued.
Footage shows the children being hoisted onto a helicopter after they were eventually discovered during a full-scale search.
All of the adults who had traveled with the children – including their mother, Magdalena Mucutui Valencia – had died in the accident.
But there was hope when the wreckage of the plane was found – and half-eaten fruit was discovered at the crash site.
Believing the children were still alive, search and rescue teams set out to search the jungle wilderness.
And now, miraculously, the children – Lesly, 13, Soleiny, 9, Tien Noriel, 4, and baby Cristin – have been found.
The video shows the children clinging to the military crew as they are hoisted aboard the rescue helicopter dubbed the Angel.
And one of the kids even smiles when his ordeal is finally over.
Despite being dehydrated and covered in insect bites, the children appeared remarkably healthy.
The Colombian Air Force shared the remarkable footage and said the rescue took place despite inclement weather.
President Gustavo Petro said the group’s discovery was a “magical day”.
He said: “They were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival that will remain in history.”
“These children today are the children of peace and the children of Colombia.”
The children are now being cared for by military nurses.
The group flew from a jungle location to San Jose del Guaviare, one of the most important cities in the Colombian Amazon rainforest.
The crash happened on the border between Guaviare and Caquetá, where huge trees can reach 40 meters and heavy rains are a daily occurrence.
After finding the crash site, hundreds of special forces soldiers and indigenous volunteers searched the jungle for the children.
It was christened “Operation Hope”.
Three helicopters were deployed, one of which broadcast a recorded message from the children’s grandmother in their native language, Huitoto, urging them to stop moving through the jungle.
Eventually, rescuers found some of the children’s belongings, as well as temporary shelter and half-eaten food.
A baby’s drinking bottle and pieces of fruit were discovered prior to the discovery by the shelter.
In photos released by the military, scissors, shoes and hair ties were seen among branches on the jungle floor.
After the children’s items were found, the search operations intensified, with sniffer dogs being called in to help.
The children are from the Huitoto, also spelled Witoto, indigenous community, known for living in harmony with the remote jungle.
FIGHT TO SURVIVE
The community develops hunting, fishing and gathering skills, which may have helped the children survive.
Huitoto leaders previously said they hoped the children would use their knowledge of fruit and the jungle to stand a better chance of being found alive.
Authorities have not yet revealed what caused the plane crash.
The pilot reported engine problems minutes before the plane disappeared from radar, Colombia’s civil protection agency said.
Being a region with few roads, river access is difficult, so air transport is common.
Manuel Ranoque, whose wife and four children were on the plane, told local media: “I would give anything to have my family by my side and to spoil them.”
“May God forgive us if we fail at something.”