The four siblings, aged 13, nine, four plus an 11-month-old baby, were from the Huitoto Indigenous community.
Malnourished and covered in insect bites, four Indigenous children were rescued alive from the Colombian Amazon on Friday afternoon, 40 days after the plane they were travelling in crashed into the jungle.
The children were transported by army medical plane to a military airport at around 00:30 am Saturday (0530 GMT).
They were immediately taken off the plane on stretchers with ambulances waiting to bring them to hospital.
“Today we have had a magical day,” Petro told the media earlier on Friday, after announcing their rescue. They are weak. Let’s let the doctors make their assessment,” he added.
¡Una alegría para todo el país! Aparecieron con vida los 4 niños que estaban perdidos hace 40 días en la selva colombiana. pic.twitter.com/cvADdLbCpm
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) June 9, 2023
The Cessna 206 light aircraft they had been in was flying from Araracuara, deep in the Amazon jungle in southern Colombia, to San José del Guaviare, when it disappeared in the morning of 1 May.
Its pilot had earlier reported engine problems.
After a huge search effort involving more than 100 soldiers, the plane was finally located, two weeks after it had disappeared.
The bodies of the pilot, the co-pilot and 33-year-old Magdalena Mucutuy, the mother of the four children, were found at the crash site in Caquetá province.
But the children were nowhere to be found.
Around 5pm on Friday, the army radio crackled with shouts of “Miracle! Miracle! Miracle! Miracle!” A group of 10 soldiers and eight Indigenous volunteers had discovered a fresh set of tracks and followed them to where the children were in a clearing.