Amazon Indians Find Brazil Plane Crash Survivors

October 30, 2009

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Nine people of 11 on a small plane survived a crash landing on a river in Brazil's Amazon rain forest after native Indians notified authorities, who dispatched a rescue mission, the government said on Friday.

The military aircraft, which went missing on Thursday, was carrying four crew members and seven health officials on a vaccination campaign in remote areas of the jungle.

The survivors were in good health, Brazil's air force said in a statement. One person was missing and another still trapped in the wreckage was feared dead.

The C-98 Cessna plane landed on the Itui river, a tributary to the Javari river, in the far western Amazon region. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

Survivors were being taken to Cruzeiro do Sul, a town in Acre state, for medical examination, the government's Indian health organisation Funasa said in a separate statement.

Members of the Matis tribe spotted the wreckage and notified local authorities. The site is close to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia and Peru meet.

The area is home to a handful of Indian tribes that have little contact with the outside world.

Indians also located and helped in the retrieval operation of a Boeing 737 operated by Brazilian carrier Gol that crashed into the Amazon in 2006, killing all 154 people on board.

(Reuters)