A plane crash survivor has shared how he was forced to eat his friends’ flesh in order to survive.
Jose Luis ‘Coche’ Inciarte, one of the survivors of a plane crash in South America on October 13, 1972, has spoken out about his unforgettable experiences.
The crash in the Andes between Argentina and Chile instantly claimed the lives of 12 people, five within hours, and another one after a week. 17 days later, an avalanche killed eight more.
Two of the survivors set off to find help while others who stayed behind were forced to eat the flesh of the dead to survive.
In an interview with This Morning, Coche said that he had to “make a great effort of energy and mind” when he forced himself to eat the flesh of his friends.
But he said that the horrifying ordeal does not live with him.
“No, the story doesn’t’ live with me,” Coche said. “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.”
The survivors of the initial crash were left at high altitudes with only a small amount of food.
“There was no other option if you wanted to stay alive,” Coche said. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Rescue arrived 72 days later after the survivors who left to find help managed to find a Chilean herdsman who immediately contacted the authorities.
When asked whether he thought he would make it off the mountain alive, Coche answered: “Most days I thought I was going to go out from there… I had a great confidence with them to reach some place and they did it.
“But other days, in those terrible days that we were waiting for them, I [thought] that they were not going to reach any place, so I put my date of dying on December 24.”
His story was told in the 1993 film Alive, but Coche said that the portrayal in the movie is fairly accurate.
‘I had to eat my friends to survive’
Jose Luis 'Coche' Inciarte endured 72 days in the Andes after a plane crash left him desperately trying to stay alive in a remote location. ‘Coche’ tells us his story, and why he was forced to do the unthinkable in order to stay alive. pic.twitter.com/Ut97uUlPrB
— This Morning (@thismorning) April 5, 2021
“Some things are invented, and others are true,” he said. “The film is very well done with all the effects, but we never fell into a hole in the snow and the other is really for me, my actor had a guitar, I’ve never played in my whole life.”
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