DC-3 Wreckage Found 50 Years after Disappearance

More than five decades after a DC-3 carrying a Chilean soccer team disappeared en route to Santiago a group of mountaineers has found a large portion of the wreckage.

The top-division Green Cross soccer team had just completed a match in the southern Chilean city of Osorno in April 1961 when its members split up on two different aircraft to return to the country's capital. However, while one airplane made it to Santiago, the other, carrying 24 people aboard including eight soccer players, never arrived.

The crew had reported icing on the DC-3's wings and propeller before authorities lost contact with the flight.

In the week following the disappearance searchers found the tail section of the airplane, along with some human remains. The search was called off, and all aboard were presumed dead. The tragedy drew worldwide attention as the families of those aboard held symbolic funerals for their loved ones. The remaining wreckage of LAN Chile Flight 210 was never found, until now.

This week a group of mountaineers located the airplane's largely preserved fuselage as well as human remains in a remote mountainous area approximately 200 miles south of Santiago. According to the group, the site is situated more than 10,000 feet above sea level. The exact location has not been released in order to preserve the sanctity of the area.

The crash is reminiscent of another high-profile accident in which a Fairchild FH-227D carrying a Uruguayan rugby team struck mountainous terrain in 1972 while en route to Santiago. The search for that plane was called off within two weeks of its disappearance, but 16 survivors were eventually rescued after two of them hiked for more than 10 days to find help.

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