Museo Andes 1972

Categories: Uruguay
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Museo Andes 1972
Andes Crash
Survivors
Airplane Crash

INTRODUCTION
The "Museo Andes 1972" honors the memory of the 29 Uruguayans who perished in the Andes in 1972, when their airplane crashed on its way from Montevideo to Santiago de Chile. It is also dedicated to our 16 fellow countrymen, who “returned to life” after having endured 72 infernal days under the worst imaginable conditions. We render tribute to those who put their lives at risk to save their friends.
By visiting this Museum, you help us transmit to the next generations the values and spirit of this story (Teamwork, Solidarity, Friendship, Goalsetting).

ABOUT THE STORY
On Friday, October 13th, 1972, a Uruguayan Fairchild 227 airplane (with a rugby team on board) crashed in the Andes.
This was the beginning of one of the most overwhelming stories of survival in human history.

Initially, 32 persons survived the crash against one of the highest mountain chains in the world. Many of them were seriously injured. At 4000 m above sea level, with neither appropriate clothing nor food; surrounded and trapped in the mountains, they almost died from the extremely low temperatures, thirst and starvation.

Their very limited provisions, consisting of a few sweets, some cans with food and a couple of bottles of alcoholic beverages, quickly ran out. For ten long days they waited to be rescued. Then they heard on the small pocket receiver that the search had been called off.

But things got even worse on the night of day 16, when an avalanche hit them while they were sleeping in the remains of the fuselage, burying them completely and killing eight people. From the 45 passengers and crew members, finally only sixteen survived.

In order to withstand the extreme weather conditions and temperatures below -30 ºC (-22 ºF) many things were re-invented. For instance: in spite of the low temperatures, they learned how to produce water from snow. They used the fabric of the seat covers as quilts. The most critical issue was how to face the lack of food. This forced them to make a very tough, difficult and controversial decision. They used the bodies of their dead mates.

In midst of this desperate situation they made many attempts to get out of that valley. The final and successful attempt was made by two of them. After hiking for 10 long and endless days under extreme geographical conditions, they came across a cattle drover. This man then rode for 5 hours to the next Police station in order to report his encounter and seek help. His response –and generous attitude– put an end to the 72 days of horror, pain, hunger, desperation… but also brought hope of a brighter future

ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Museum is located in a 19th century building in the historic City centre of Montevideo, which was declared national heritage. The exhibit includes pictures, documents, personal belongings and airplane debris, among other relevant items. A timeline provides a day-to-day account of the events that took place in the “Valley of Tears”, as well as of important events that were occuring at the same time in other parts of the world, during those never-ending 72 days.

Unveiling of the cattle drover´s sculpture by the two survivors who crossed the Andes walking back in 1972. In the rear row: the two artists

Unveiling of the cattle drover´s sculpture by the two survivors who crossed the Andes walking back in 1972. In the rear row: the two artists

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Contact

Museo Andes 1972
Rincon 619
Ciudad Vieja
Montevideo
11000
Uruguay
59829169461
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