'I feel blessed': Plane crash survivor cheats death anew after bus falls off cliff

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 04 2021 01:27 PM

'I feel blessed': Plane crash survivor cheats death anew after bus falls off cliff 1
Erwin Tumiri, one of the six survivors and member of the crew of the airplane that crashed in Colombia carrying members of Brazilian Chapecoense Real football crew, recovers in a clinic in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on December 3, 2016. Agence France-Presse

La Paz, Bolivia - A 30-year-old flight engineer who survived a horror plane crash in Colombia in 2016 has crawled alive from the wreckage of a bus in Bolivia that plunged off a cliff, killing 21 people.

"I crawled out, my knee was injured, I sat down and said: 'Again, I cannot believe it'," Bolivian Erwin Tumiri told Los Tiempos newspaper from his hospital bed in Cochabamba in central Bolivia after Tuesday's disaster.

Tumiri was on the crew of a plane that crashed in Colombia in 2016, carrying 19 players from Brazilian football club Chapecoense to Medellin for a match. 

Seventy-one people died.

He was also on the bus that plunged some 150 meters (500 feet) off a cliff near Cochabamba on Tuesday, killing 21 people and injuring 30.

"I grabbed onto the seat in front of me, I knew we were going to crash, because we were going at great speed," Tumiri recalled.

"I continued holding on, I did not let go until we hit the ground," he said.

Tumiri said he was conscious when rescuers arrived.

"I feel blessed. Always giving thanks to God," he added.

Only five other people survived the 2016 plane crash: three footballers, a Bolivian flight attendant and a Brazilian journalist.

jac/fj/dga/mlr/caw

© Agence France-Presse

Watch more on iWantTFC