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Alive Alive by Piers Paul Read is the story of how a Uruguayan rugby team and their friends who survived for ten weeks in the Andes after their chartered plane to Chile crashed The plane took off on October 12 1972 from Montevideo for Santiago Reports of bad weather in the Andes brought the plane down in Mendoza a small Argentinean town close to the Andes The boys were disappointed however the next day the weather cleared so the plane took off for the Planchon Pass to the south The flight was routine and the atmosphere relaxed until the pilot turned toward the north to Santiago Chile Soon after the plane hit an air pocket and plunged several hundred feet There was nervous joking in the cabin until the plane hit a second air pocket that brought it out of the clouds The real panic hit when the view out the windows was not the lush green valleys of Chile but of a rocky mountain ten feet from the wing The wing hit the mountain broke off and flipped over the body of the plane cutting off the tail The plane then plummeted to the ground However instead of smashing into the rocks it landed on its belly and slid down the valley like a toboggan Although thirty-two out of the original forty-five passengers survived the crash only twenty-seven survived the night Soon the survivors became weak because they only received one square of chocolate and a capful of wine a day Finally on the tenth day the religious debate over whether or not to eat the dead bodies was finally discussed Though everyone decided that it was the right and only thing to do several could not get past the physical repulsion Once it became apparent that there would be no rescue the few who had previously refused now took their first pieces After they had regained their strength three boys set out
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