Chilean Mountaineers Find 53-Year-Old Plane Wreck

Locate crash site and human remains

Feb 10, 2015
Outside Magazine
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The climbers discovered the remains of a plane that went missing in April 1961, along with nine members of the Chilean Green Cross soccer club.    Pedro Ignacio Guridi/Flickr

A team of Chilean mountaineers on Monday found the fuselage of a plane that crashed 53 years ago, high in the Andes Mountains.

The twin-propeller plane went missing on April 3, 1961, near Linares, Chile, roughly 186 miles south of Santiago. All 25 passengers were killed, including members of the top-flight Green Cross soccer club.

The nine-member mountaineering team traveled two days by horseback and spent another two days climbing to reach the crash site at 9,843 feet, Reuters reports. Expedition leader Lower Lopez had made two previous attempts to find the plane.

Though rescuers found the tail of the airplane and some human remains shortly after the crash, they abandoned the recovery effort due to the location’s remoteness and danger.

Lopez told Reuters that several family members of the victims want to make the trip to pay their final respects.

“They want to go up, close a chapter in their lives, see where the plane and the remains of their loved ones are,” he said.

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