Survivor: No warning before crash
Family fled crash site through Peruvian marsh
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PUCALLPA, Peru (CNN) -- The short flight from Lima to the small Amazonian town of Pucallpa was uneventful, and when a powerful wind gust hit the aircraft, Jose Vivas said he thought it was just a normal part of landing.
"Then we hear the crash, and when it crashed it just made one stop; it was like no movement of the plane," he told CNN.
Vivas, an American resident, survived Tuesday's plane crash along with his three daughters, his brother and sister-in-law.
Of the 98 passengers and crew aboard the TANS flight, 57 people survived and 10 remained unaccounted for, according to airline officials.
The Vivas family was heading to Pucallpa to celebrate the birthday of Jose Vivas' 15-year-old daughter with his parents, who live in the town.
They had arrived from their home state of New York and planned a big birthday celebration, as is customary in Peru, for the teen in Lima on Saturday.
Vivas said the plane went down "in a little lake or something." Airline officials believe the marshy area where the plane crashed lessened the impact.
The Vivas family was sitting in the back of the plane, where most of the other people who survived the crash were also located.
Vivas said there was no warning before the plane went down, and authorities said they believe the accident was possibly caused by a phenomenon known as wind shear. (Full story)
"We didn't have [any] instructions, we don't know were going to crash," he said.
"After we crash, [a flight attendant] opened back door quickly and she tell us to 'Get out, get out, get away from the plane.'"
Jose and his brother pushed the girls and his sister-in-law out of the door, and ran -- stopping briefly to help a small child on the way.
Vivas said his family trekked through the marshy land before being reached by rescue workers.
"We were moving farther away from the plane; we were falling down, we stand up, we fall down," he said.
"I lost my shoes, I lost my pants, I keep going, keep talking to my girls. My girls are 10, 12 and 15 so I keep pushing them out plus I keep falling down.
"My brother was behind me only to help me, and we get to a safe place and thank God like a half hour later or an hour later, I don't have time to check, we were rescued," he said.
Everyone in his family escaped without injury. Vivas said his 10-year-old daughter was a bit shaken up, "but she is good now."
CNN's Claudia Cisneros contributed to this report.
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