Colombia plane crash survivor said he curled up in fetal position before impact

(ABC NEWS) -- One of the five survivors pulled from the wreckage of the Colombian plane crash that killed 71 people Monday reportedly told South American media he curled up in the fetal position with a bag between his knees before the jet slammed into a mountainside.

"I put the bags in between my legs to form the fetal position that is recommended in accidents," flight technician Erwin Tumiri told Fox Sports Argentina in Spanish. "During the situation, many stood up from their seats and they started to shout."

Tumiri suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to the hospital treating him. Others found alive amid the plane’s mangled remnants suffered more serious injuries, including thoracic trauma and spinal damage. One person had a leg amputated.

But the majority of passengers –- most members of a Brazilian soccer team, the Chapecoense, as well as journalists and crew aboard the charter from Bolivia -– perished when the plane, plagued by an electrical problem and running out of gas, was ripped to shreds on impact.

According to the fire chief of the town La Union, Arquimedes Mejia, the aircraft clipped the top of the mountain on its way down, breaking the jet into two pieces. Some in the rear of the plane survived.

"We saw dead bodies everywhere at the site," Mejia said in Spanish, in a video distributed by Reuters. "And there were people screaming for help. They were crying for help."

The charter company, LAMIA, has had permits and certifications suspended, the Bolivia Civil Aviation authority told ABC News today.


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