The only survivor of a plane crash, a 36-year-old man, managed to survive ten days on the icy plains of Siberia, despite being seriously injured. Minor Pavel Krivoshapkin, 36, suffered an injury and fractured ribs and lived off packets of instant noodles found in a small abandoned hut sometimes used by reindeer herders.
Krivoshapkin was the only survivor of the crash of the single-engined Antonov An-2 plane, whose pilot and co-pilot were burned alive after the plane crashed into a hill. He was the third passenger on the plane and the only person to survive the impact.
A man working as a silver miner was found alive at Verticalny in Russia’s vast Yakutia region on Friday in an area infested with brown bears and wolves.
After recovering in the hospital, Krivoshpakin tells about his difficult adventure, which began when the plane was lost in fog. The moment of impact came within minutes, as Antonov hit a mountain slope.
“When I regained consciousness, everything around me was full of smoke,” he told the international news channel Russia 24. “To exit the plane, I broke the door lock.”
When he finally managed to get out, Krivoshapkin says that several pieces of the plane were scattered on the slopes, still on fire. “I sat on the side of the plane for about three hours, then slowly went to a river and started a small fire there,” he said.
The miner believes that he survived the tragedy because he was sitting in the back of the plane. He says that he was on a mission to bring a ton of food and equipment to the silver mine.
As he tried to warm up, worried about the cold imposed by the already harsh Arctic night, he saw a cabin nearby. He probably followed a path opened by a reindeer breeder and managed to enter the room.
At the hut, Krivoshpakin found several packages of doshirak noodles (a South Korean brand of instant noodles). It was this food that kept him alive for the next ten days until a rescue team arrived.
“they [os pacotes de macarrão] Saved me from severe hunger – even though I didn’t want to eat that much, because my body was aching and aching a lot. I was starving, but I had almost no appetite.”
While he waited for help, he heard several helicopters and even made an improvised flag that could be seen from above. However, his efforts seemed to be in vain.
“I forced myself to get up once a day, and every day I went out waving a flag, hoping someone would see me,” said the miner.
He did not know this, but a massive search was underway to search for any survivors of the plane crash, covering an area of 11.2 square kilometres. However, only on the tenth day Krivoshpakin was located.
Rescuers aboard a Polar Airlines Mi-8 helicopter found the wreckage of the plane and the charred bodies of two pilots in the Kobyansky district of Yakutia early Friday morning. An hour later, they found Krivoshpakin and took him to a hospital in the city of Yakutsk, where he is recovering from his injuries.