Miracle plane crash survivor rescued after 10 days in Arctic living off noodles

A plane crash survivor stayed alive for ten days in the sub Arctic wilds of Siberia despite suffering serious injuries.

Pavel Krivoshapkin, suffered concussion and broken ribs and lived on packs of noodles which he found in a small abandoned hut occasionally used by passing reindeer herders.

The 36-year-old was the only survivor in the An-2 crash which saw the other two people on board – the pilot and co-pilot – burned alive after the aircraft hit a hillside.

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Krivoshapkin, a silver miner, was finally found alive on July 1 in the vast Yakutia region of Russia, an area infested with brown bears and wolves.

After recuperating in hospital Krivoshapkin recalled his remarkable ordeal which begins with the plane flying in "fog" and the impact when the Antonov hit a hillside.

“I got back to my senses, everything around me was filled with smoke,” he said.

“I had to break out of the plane. I broke the lock on the door.

“Bits of the plane were still burning.

”I sat next to the plane for about three hours, then slowly walked down to the river, and made a small fire there,” he said.

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He believes he survived because he was in the rear of the stricken aircraft, which was on a mission to take one tonne of food supplies and tools to a silver mine.

“I saw a river, and some traces towards that hut. It was the winter path of a reindeer breeder, and I went along it.

“In the hut I found several packs of Doshirak [South Korean] noodles.

“They saved me from severe hunger – even though I didn’t want to eat that badly, because my injured body was hurting so much.

“I was starving, but there was no appetite because my body hurt so much.”

He heard helicopters several times and forced himself up to wave an improvised flag, but to no avail until the tenth day.

“I forced myself to get up once a day, and every day I went out waving a flag, hoping someone would see me.”

A major search was underway for any survivors, covering almost 7,000 square miles, but it was only on the tenth day that he was located.

Rescuers on a Polar Airlines Mi-8 helicopter first found the mangled wreckage of the plane and the charred bodies of the two pilots in the Kobyaysky District of Yakutia.

An hour later they located the sole survivor.

His plane had been flying from Us-Khatyng to the silver mine at Vertikalniy but quickly vanished from the radar.

The flight was to take food and supplies to workers at a remote silver mine, and geological exploration site.

The rescued man was in a "severe" condition when he was found but quickly recovered in hospital in regional capital Yakutsk, the world’s coldest city.

Yakutia plunges to minus 50C or lower – in winter, but in summer the day time temperatures here are around 18C, falling to 10C at night.


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