SANTIAGO: Climbers in Chile’s Andes say they have found the wreckage of a missing plane that disappeared more than half a century ago with a team of soccer stars on board.
Images of the twisted wreck of the LAN Chile Douglas DC-3 that went down April 3, 1961 were shown on Chilean television on Sunday, released by the climbers who said the find was in Maule, about 300 kilometres (190 miles) south of Santiago.
“The plane is more than 3,200 metese (10,000 feet) up the mountain. Quite a bit of the fuselage is still there, a lot of things scattered over the area including human bones. So this story is getting a rewrite since this is not where original accounts said,” one of the mountaineers, Leonardo Albornoz, explained.
The plane was carrying 34 people when it crashed, with all presumed dead.
They included eight members of the Green Cross football squad, team coach Arnaldo Vasquez, and other team staff and friends who were coming back to Santiago from a match in Osorno.
The plane has been missing ever since, but the story until now had been that a LAN pilot had spotted something he said was the footballers’ plane in another location – near the city of Linares.
The mountaineers declined to give the exact location to Chilean media, saying they feared the crash site could be desecrated, even though it is remote.