Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571: Who survived the 1972 crash? | Englishheadline


A FLIGHT of passengers were left stranded for months after their plane crashed into a mountain.

In order to withstand the ordeal, the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 survivors resorted to cannibalism.

Uruguayan Flight 571 crash survivor Ramón Sabella pictured after he was rescued from the Andes mountains


Uruguayan Flight 571 crash survivor Ramón Sabella pictured after he was rescued from the Andes mountainsCredit: AP

Who survived the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash of 1972?

Out of the 45 passengers who boarded Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, only 16 people survived the crash into the Andes mountains.

The 16 survivors who lived to tell the story include:

  • Roberto Canessa
  • Nando Parrado
  • Carlos Páez Rodríguez
  • José Pedro Algorta
  • Alfredo “Pancho” Delgado
  • Daniel Fernández
  • Roberto “Bobby” François
  • Roy Harley
  • José “Coche” Luis Inciarte
  • Álvaro Mangino
  • Javier Methol
  • Ramón Sabella
  • Adolfo “Fito” Strauch
  • Eduardo Strauch
  • Antonio “Tintin” Vizintín
  • Gustavo Zerbino

“I’m condemned to tell this story forever more, just like the Beatles always having to sing Yesterday,” passenger Carlos Páez Rodriguez told The Sunday Times.

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While recalling the accident, the surviving passengers remembered the measures they took in order to live.

Fellow surviving passenger Ramón Sabella also commented: “We promised each other that if one of us died, the others were obliged to eat their bodies.

“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.

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

Survivor Roberto Canessa recounted in Gonzalo Arijón’s documentary Stranded: “We were forced to make choices that we would have never made before.

“We also saw that we were gradually moving away from the world we had known.

“At that moment, we were taking a leap into the unknown, into uncertainty.

Uruguay Flight 571 crash survivor Roberto Canessa pictured with Chilean police on December 23, 1972


Uruguay Flight 571 crash survivor Roberto Canessa pictured with Chilean police on December 23, 1972Credit: AP

“We had no idea if we had reached a terribly sophisticated level of civilization or if we were on our way to becoming primitive savages.”

How long were the survivors stranded?

On October 13, 1972, Flight 571 crashed into the Andes mountains and were left stranded for 72 days.

On December 23, 1972, the 16 survivors were rescued after Canessa, Parrado, and Vizintín trekked through the snow-filled landscape to find help.

For 10 days, the trio hiked until they were able to flag down three men on horseback when they reached Río Azufre.

After making contact with the muleteers, the men alerted Puente Negro police about the plane crash survivors.

The police relayed the news to the Army command in San Fernando and Santiago.

Parrado and Canessa were located and brought to Los Maitenes de Curicó.

By December 22, a search and rescue team was able to locate the rest of the passengers.

How can I watch ABC 20/20’s Uruguayan Flight 571 crash special?

On May 22, 2023, the Uruguayan Flight 571 plane crash is relived in an episode of ABC’s 20/20 titled Prisoners of the Snow.

That Monday, Prisoners of the Snow is scheduled to be broadcasted at 9pm EST via the above-mentioned network.

Show anchor Chris Connelly collects first-hand testimonies from those who were involved in the tragedy.

Parrado, Canessa, Páez-Rodríguez, Eduardo Strauch, and Roy Harley give exclusive interviews and share their side of what happened in the Andes mountains.

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For those that miss Monday’s broadcast, there are streaming options available.

When the episode’s cable premiere concludes, audiences can head on over to watch the special by streaming it on Hulu.

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