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Bolivian found alive in Amazon 3 days after crash

A Bolivian salesman is found alive in the Amazon jungle nearly three days after a small plane crashed, killing everyone else on board.
Image: Minor Vidal
Minor Vidal stands with rescuers who found him on the banks of the Ibare River on the outskirts of Trinidad, Bolivia, on Friday — three days after he survived the crash of a small plane. AP
/ Source: Reuters

A Bolivian salesman was found alive in the Amazon jungle on Friday nearly three days after a small plane crashed, killing everyone else on board.

Nine people were traveling on the Fairchild Aerospace Metro when it went missing near the city of Trinidad on Tuesday, but when rescuers only found eight bodies in the wreckage they kept searching deeper into the forest.

"From several kilometers away, we saw a man on the river bank signaling to us. When we got closer, he knelt down and thanked God," said Naval Captain David Bustos, who led the rescue operation.

"He said he'd been trapped in the plane for more than 15 hours and that when he finally escaped he began to walk and survived by drinking his own urine and water from a lagoon," Bustos added.

The man, identified as Minor Vidal, a 35-year-old cosmetics salesman, had head and rib injuries but was out of danger, Bustos said.

"Thank God he's alive, it's a real miracle," his sister, Rosario Vidal, told reporters.

The plane took off from the eastern city of Santa Cruz for a 90-minute flight, flying into thick smoke caused by the burning of forests for grazing.