Sole Survivors Of Airline Crashes

On August 4, 2014 by Tim Newman

Sole Survivor Plane Crash

If the plane you’re on is high in the sky and starts to descend at a rapid rate of knots, you know you’re in trouble. It’s rare, but it happens. Of course people do survive these sorts of accidents but you know in your heart of hearts that if you’re over the sea, a mountain or a desert then you’re pretty much a goner.

It’s rare for people to survive aircraft accidents, but it’s rarer still for there to be just one survivor. This article covers a few such lucky/unlucky people.

Apparently people who are only survivors of serious accidents feel three types of guilt. There’s the guilt that they survived when so many others didn’t, there’s the guilt about what they didn’t do to help others, and there’s the guilt of what they did do, like clamber over people to get out or whatever desperate people do.

Here are four such survivors…

1) Nestor Mata

Sole Survivor Plane Cras - Nestor Mata

Mata was a writer for the Philippine Herald at the time of the incident. On March 16th, 1957, Mata was on a flight with President Magsaysay (the 7th President of the Philippines pictured above). The President was on his way to a speaking engagement with a small entourage and some reporters, 28 people in total.

It was 1:16am and Mata was half-asleep near the Presidential compartment. After the crash Mata was unconscious but when he came round:

I found myself on the side of a steep cliff among dried bushes…. Agonizing with pain, I was completely at a loss what to do. About three meters away from me were parts of the plane. They were still burning. Meanwhile, I heard the distant howling of a dog. It was only then that I felt hopeful of being rescued. Thinking that there were probably people living not far away from where I lay moaning with pain, I made an effort to shout. I noticed that my voice echoed in the nearby mountains.
After that, I began shouting, “Mr. President! Mr. President! Mr. President!” When no answer came, I shouted for Pablo Bautista, the reporter of the Liwayway magazine. “Pabling! Pabling!” Still no answer. It began to dawn on me that there was no other survivor except me.

He was rescued by local farmers who took 18 hours to get him down the side of the mountain. Mata was badly burned and spent 6 months in hospital.

Now in his late 80’s Mata has dedicated his life to journalism and music. He puts on his own piano concerts annually for friends and family members. He’s enjoyed a life of dangerous reportage in areas like Palestine, Egypt, Thailand and elsewhere.

More sole survivors on the next page…


Pages: 1 2 3 4

@media all and (max-width: 228px) { div#darkbackground, div.visiblebox { display: none; } }