Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
Piers Paul Read
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On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Out of the forty-five original passengers and crew, only sixteen made it off the mountain alive. For ten excruciating weeks they suffered deprivations beyond imagining, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable. And to survive, they were forced to do what would have once been unthinkable ...
This is their story -- one of the most astonishing true adventures of the twentieth century.
there was little he could do for any of them. There were no drugs on the plane beyond those which Carhtos Paez had bought in Mendoza and some Librium and Valium found in a handbag. There was nothing in the wreckage which seemed suitable to be used as splints for broken limbs, so Canessa could only tell those with broken arms or legs to lay them on the snow to help bring down the swelling; later he advised them to massage their sprained ligaments. He was afraid to tie the bandages he had made
crossings of the Andes. He had found a lake—or, rather, a group of three lakes—and attempted to land, but the plane had crashed into the base of a mountain and was concealed by an overhanging shelf of rock. Near it there was a mountain "without a top," and he saw danger—perhaps a road sign saying danger. He could no longer see life in the plane, but perhaps this only meant that the boys had left it and had taken shelter nearby. With each new detail Paez Vilaro and his Chilean friends set out
again to search in the mountains, and by this time faith in Croiset's vision had spread to others. Madelon had gone to Santiago and persuaded the SAR to send planes over the mountains around Talca. The commander of the army in Talca sent out a patrol toward the Cerro Picazo (which satisfied the description of a mountain without a top), and for five days these Chilean soldiers searched in the bitter cold for the wreck of the Fairchild. A group of Silesian priests also set out into the mountains
Liliana Methol 8. A group of the Old Christians and their friends in Mendoza 9. The passengers at Mendoza airport 10. Inside the Fairchild 11. The track made by the fuselage FolloiDing page 96 12. Fito Strauch 13. Eduardo Strauch 14. Daniel Fernandez 15. Gustavo Zerbino 16. Roberto Canessa 17. Nando Parrado 11 19. Carlitos Paez 20. Pancho Delgado 21. Coche Inciarte 22. Pedro Algorta 23. Javier Methol 24. Moncho Sabella 25. Bobby Francois 26. Roy Harley 27. Alvaro Mangino
though they had not finished their work, they set off back to the plane—Fito and Zerbino with full knapsacks, Algorta carrying an arm over his shoulder and the ax tied to his belt. When they reached the Fairchild an extraordinary sight met their eyes. The other survivors were all out of the plane, standing in the middle of the cross and staring up at the sky. Some were embracing one another; others were praying aloud to God. On the outer extremity of the cross, Pancho Delgado was on his knees,