Monday, July 06, 2009

Plane Crash Survivor Tells Story

In 1971, Juliane Koepcke was the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed 91 people over Peru. She fell two miles and landed in the rain forest. The 17-year-old Koepcke then walked for ten days through the jungle to find help.

As she travelled downstream, Koepcke discovered more wreckage from the plane -- and found some of the crash victims.

"I found another row of seats with three dead women still strapped in. They had landed head-first and the impact must have been so hard that they were buried almost two feet into the ground.

"I was horrified -- I didn't want to touch them but I wanted to make sure that my mother wasn't one of them. So I took a stick and knocked a shoe off one of the bodies. The toe nails had nail polish on them and I knew it could not have been my mother because she never used nail polish."

Juliane continued through the rainforest, wading through jungle streams infested with crocodiles, piranhas and devil rays.

Koepcke is now a librarian in Munich.

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