Miracle of the Andes: How Survivors of the 1972 Flight Disaster Struggled to Stay Alive


At first, none of the passengers panicked. Few even showed much alarm. Most of the 45 on board were in their late teens and early twenties, members of a rugby team traveling from Uruguay to play an exhibition in Chile, and they whooped and hollered when their chartered plane hit turbulence over the Andes and dropped several hundred feet. Then the plane hit a second air pocket, and dropped some more—and now, suddenly, as it fell beneath the cloud cover, the passengers could see a mountain face just ten or twenty feet away.


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