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1972 Plane Crash Survivor Recalls Eating 'Flesh of Friends' To Stay Alive On Morning Show

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A survivor of the 1972 South American plane crash has revealed that he resorted to cannibalism to remain alive after the incident.


Jose Luis Inciarte is one of the 16 survivors when the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes while flying from Chile to Argentina on 13 October 1972. The fatalities totaled up to 33, 12 of who died immediately, six a week later, and 17 who died in an avalanche.


When the plane crashed, 2 people went out to find help. But others, who remained, fed on the corpses of the dead passengers for survival. Inciarte has now opened up about his experience with cannibalism in an interview with the Morning.



He said that he had to 'make a great effort of energy and mind' in order to force himself to eat the flesh of his former friends, but said the horror of the ordeal doesn't 'live with him.


"I live my life as I imagined in those days and when I am having problems I think about the Andes and the problem seems to be very little against the others, so it helps me, but it's not part of my life."


Inciarte says that after the crash, the survivors were in a high altitude area with a radio, extreme weather conditions, and little food. So when they heard that the search for them had been called off, they realized they had no option but to eat the flesh of the preserved dead passengers.


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"There was no other option if you wanted to stay alive,


"We made a meeting between all and we argued whether to do it or not to do it, not to do it seemed to mean to die, everybody decided to eat.


"When you went to take a piece of flesh, the body of your friend, their frozen body, the hand doesn't obey and you have to make a great effort of energy and mind to make your arm obey, and then it obeys, not immediately.


"It was the same with opening mouth to put it inside the mouth and swallow."


The survivors of the crash weren’t rescued until after 72 days of the incident. Those who left to find help eventually managed to find a Chilean herdsman who alerted the authorities.


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