Plane Lost In Chilean Andes 53 Years Ago Finally Found [Video]

Back in 1961, a Douglas DC-3 plane went missing high up in the Andes Mountains in Chile. Almost 54 years later, the crash site has finally been found.

The LAN Chile Douglas DC-3 twin-propeller aircraft was carrying 24 passengers and went missing on April 3, 1961 close to Linares, around 186 miles south of Santiago in Chile. Among the 24 passengers were eight players and the coach of the top-division Chilean Green Cross soccer club along with three referees.

At the time, the airline was state-owned and was the region’s largest carrier.

The Independent noted that, despite rescue efforts at the time, only the tail section of the plane was found, along with some human remains. Due to the dangerous and remote location among the snow-capped peaks, though, the recovery effort had to be abandoned.

However, the people who died in that crash have not been forgotten. Recently an expedition headed up into the Andes Mountains and, after a grueling and trying journey, they have now found the fuselage of the plane that was lost so many years ago.

Several attempts have been made in the past to find the site of the crash. In fact the team leader of the expedition, Lower Lopez, has previously made two unsuccessful attempts. It turned out to be a case of third time lucky this year.

Apparently, the period between January and April is the best time to climb in the Chilean Andes, and Lopez and the nine-member mountaineering team headed up recently. For two days they traveled on horseback, winding their way through ravines and streams, spending a further two days climbing.

Reuters reports they finally made the discovery of the crash site at 9,843 feet above sea level. On a rocky slope up in the mountains, they found several pieces of the crashed plane including a propeller and, according to Lopez, “We also found human remains.”

Apparently, it took two days to return from the crash site and, according to Lopez, several family members now want to travel to the site themselves in order to pay their final respects. They contacted him, asking him to take them. He said he will, if they are physically able.

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

“If they aren’t physically able, I won’t go up with them… it’s too dangerous.”

Apparently the mountaineers would not give the Chilean media the exact location of the crash site, saying that they fear it could be desecrated, even though it was in such a remote position.

In related news, the Inquisitr notes there was a close call when a U.S. Airways plane’s landing gear failed when the aircraft landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston recently.