Andes Mountains Plane Crash Survivor Reveals Moment Group Decided to Eat Dead Passengers
Dr. Roberto Canessa was only 19 when the plane carrying him and his Uruguayan rugby teammates to a match went down in the Andes Mountains in 1972 — a horrific tragedy and story of survival revisited in the upcoming Netflix film Society of the Snow.
Speaking to Today, Canessa said that watching the upcoming movie took him "back [to] the fuselage ... immersing him "in that place again."
Only 16 of the 45 passengers survived the 1972 crash. Surrounded by snow and with no food, the survivors made the impossible decision to eat the flesh of their dead teammates in order to survive.
"I thought if I would die, I would be proud that my body would be used for someone else," he told Today about making the tough decision to eat his "loved ones."
In his 2016 book I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives, Canessa revealed how he and the other survivors resorted to eating the victims who had died in the crash "amid much torment and soul-searching" as their hopes of being rescued dwindled.
"We laid the thin strips of frozen flesh aside on a piece of sheet metal. Each of us finally consumed our piece when we could bear to," he wrote.
Eventually, Canessa and another teammate were able to reach civilization and get help. The remaining survivors were rescued 72 days after the plane crash.
Society of the Snow streams on Netflix Jan. 4. Watch a trailer for the film, below:
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Gallery Credit: Jacklyn Krol