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5 Survivors in Costa Rica Plane Crash

November 30, 2001 GMT

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) _ A day after a small plane crashed near Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, rescuers found five passengers who survived, the Red Cross said Thursday. The pilot, co-pilot and a sixth passenger died in the Wednesday crash.

Brandy and Brandon Wiley, of Colorado and Silke Friedbold, a German living in Costa Rica, were in stable condition with minor injuries said Jorge Cortes, medical director at the clinic where they were being treated.

In a telephone interview, Brandon Wiley told Denver’s KCNC-TV that he regained consciousness in a pouring rain, amid plane debris and fuel fumes.


``It’s unbelievably lucky that we’re even alive,″ he said.

He said Brandy Wiley helped him and others out of the wreckage. They used clothes to bandage their injuries.

The other two survivors _ Alvaro Zuniga, a Costa Rican, and Michael Packard, of New York City _ were in serious condition, said Dr. Luis Blanco, who treated them at the crash site. Doctors said Packard suffered multiple injuries to his abdomen and upper body.

``They would not have survived another night at that site,″ Blanco said.

Pilot Ricardo Salazar, co-pilot Carlos Lacayo and passenger Adolfo Predo, all Costa Ricans, died in the crash.

The SANSA airlines plane crashed shortly before it was to land in the coastal town of Quepos, about 30 miles south of San Jose.