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Erwin Tumiri, the double survivor: "I said 'no, I'm not going to die'"


CNN en Español spoke with Erwin Tumiri, a survivor of the Chapecoense tragedy and the bus accident in Bolivia. 

Survivor of 2 tragedies: "It's happening to me again" 0:39

(CNN Spanish) -

Erwin Tumiri, a Bolivian flight technician, has escaped death twice.

His story and his life testimony are incredible.

He was one of the six survivors of the LaMia flight that crashed in Colombia in November 2016 and in which 71 people died, including a large part of the players of the Chapecoense soccer team.

And this Tuesday he was on the bus in which he crashed on the Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway, in Bolivia.

Tumiri underwent surgery on Tuesday afternoon and is stable.

Reports from the authorities indicate that the bus accident is being investigated.

CNN en Español spoke with Tumiri, who was one of the 45 passengers on the bus that fell 150 meters down a ravine at kilometer 72 of the interdepartmental road, in the area known as El Cañadón on the Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway.

This is an edited transcript of the conversation with Nacho Girón from Redacción Buenos Aires.

How is Erwin Tumiri?

Now I am at the Arébalo Clinic.

Well, I'm with some blows on the right side, on my arm, on my leg, on my knee, which is what is bothering me the most.

But hey, God willing we are going to be calmer and better improving every day.

What do you remember from this latest accident?

First of all I am hurt for all the people who have passed away.

And yes, well, we all left on Monday at ten o'clock at night and all this happened at one o'clock in the morning.

At the speed that the bus was coming… I think, in my opinion….

So far there is no exact information, but in my opinion the brakes broke, right?

And many people were screaming.

And between that, I started to hold onto the front and back seat.

I got very fixed.

Because I already imagined the worst.

Because such a speed and I collide or flip that slope was one of two and we turned.

We turn around until we reach the bottom of the ravine.

SPECIAL: Chapecoense: the dark keys of the sinister


Where were you located on the bus?

I was in seat 139, on the side of the window, on the right side.

I don't think I know how many seats there were.

I do not know.

I did not count.

Right there I got on to take my little things, as I was transferring to the Chimboré airport.

There is not much air traffic on that side.

So we went by land, but we never thought that these things were going to happen.

Were you conscious after the accident?

That's right, since what happened I was consciously all the time, until I came out and told you that I crawled out, let's say off the bus.

And of course, with the knee there, not broken, but cut and in a matter of the skin and all that.

Thank God there were some civilians there who were helping us and they carried me to the avenue and later they took me in trucks to another province that is Colomi, they approached us and after Colomi they took us here to Sacaba.

You were in that tragedy of the plane that was moving the Chapecoense team.

What do you remember about that?

What did you think when you realized that you had now survived two tragedies?

It is a new opportunity, plus a new opportunity to see life, to be more with my mother.

Right now, the truth is that all the media that came here are, that my mother is the priority, let's say, because there is no more, there is only one who takes care of my mother.

So, I think that God gives me one more opportunity to still accompany her to my mother.

Did you immediately think of the Chapecoense accident when you became aware of what had happened now on this bus?

Yes, because when I got out, as I was saying, from the bus, like that on all fours.

Well, yes, I sat there for a while: «Again.

The same thing is happening to me again.

I think I hit my head in this last one (accident), hard, and I was kind of groggy, drowsy.

I remember that they took me to the top and then to the truck.

Erwin Tumiri, survivor of the LaMia flight in 2016 where the Chapecoense club was traveling and the tragic road accident in Bolivia last Tuesday, spoke exclusively with #CNNEE and told how he felt the touch of tragedy for the second time in his life.


- CNN Argentina (@CNNArgentina) March 3, 2021

Have you ever thought about why you survived?

No, not really nothing, right now I have not thought about that part, but I do have among the priorities it was for my mother, what she told you, and also for helping many people who are still in need in the Christian life.

I am an evangelical Christian.

Well, to help ... there are many things to do.

And apart from that the fact of not dying, for example in this accident that I had the latter now.

I said "no, I'm not going to die."

I mean, I'm not going to die here, he said, and that's why I held on and held on to everything that could hold me at that time of the accident.

What do you think life means to you with this new opportunity to live?

For me, as I say, it is a blessing.

The purpose would have to find out well, because right now I don't know.

Right now I am more to heal myself and continue with my aeronautical work, which I am leaving this week for this reason of the accident.

They are two really very serious tragedies: a plane that falls, a bus that capsizes.

But you look very good physically.

Do you have any particular pain?

What have been your injuries?

I have a slightly beaten plate.

There is a fissure, I think I have in the bone, and I cannot lift it, and I also have a skin cutter on my knee.

Those two that are stronger, you could say.

The rest are blows.

What are you going to do when you are discharged?

First, have a good time with my friends.

Personally, spend it more comfortably.

Value life, value friendship, etc.

In fact, since the aviation accident I have been more ingrained in that part and you can continue to go to church, help the church in the ministries.

I also have a Christian folk group that does fusion.

And so we are also touching that part and also doing evangelism through witness.

And that is more testimony for me, for the Christian life.

Chapecoense Cochabamba Survivor

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-03-03

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