This handout picture released by the Colombian army shows a crashed plane, a label of a headband, in the forest at a rural area of Solano, Colombia. AFP
Writing on Twitter, Petro said he had deleted his tweet from Wednesday night in which he had announced the rescue of the four children, including an 11-month-old baby.
"I am sorry for what happened. The military forces and Indigenous communities will continue in their tireless search to give the country the news it is waiting for," he said.
More than 100 soldiers have been deployed with sniffer dogs to search for the minors who were traveling in an airplane that crashed on May 1, leaving three adults including the pilot and the children's mother dead.
A soldier with a dog checks a pair of scissors found in the forest in Colombia. AFP
Rescuers believe the children — who in addition to the 11-month-old include a 13, nine and four-year-old — have been wandering through the jungle in the southern Caqueta department since the crash.
"At this time there is no other priority other than progressing with the search until finding them," added Petro. "The children's lives are the most important thing."
Petro's stunning announcement on Wednesday had been met with uncertainty as he gave no details about where or how the children had been rescued, nor how they had survived alone in the jungle. "Joy for the country," he had declared. Amid widespread confusion, the military has not confirmed any rescue.
The government's Institute of Family Welfare, said that it had on Wednesday received "information from the territory confirming contact with the four children."
It said the report indicated that "they had been found alive and are also in good health." However, the agency acknowledged that the military had not been able to "establish official contact" due to bad weather and difficult terrain, and were continuing search and rescue operations.
Avianline Charters, owner of the crashed aircraft, had previously said that one of its pilots in the search area was told the children had been found and that they were being taken by boat downriver. But the company also said that there was no confirmation that the children were out of danger, and thunderstorms posed a risk to them reaching safety.
United Express flight was pulling away from a gate shortly after 7pm when the man unsuccessfully tried to breach the cockpit, then managed to open the service door and jumped down the emergency slide onto the tarmac, according to the airport and SkyWest.
South Korean authorities detained on Friday a man after he opened a door of an Asiana Airlines plane minutes before it was due to land in the city of Daegu, causing panic among the passengers, officials said.
More than 3,600 rescue personnel, 13 helicopters, 54 large ships and 20 small boats are searching the area just north of Jakarta where Flight 182 crashed and have found parts of the plane and human remains in the water at a depth of 23 metres.
Firefighters said the bus caught fire after careering off a bridge linking the Mestre and Marghera districts of the northern Italian city.
We have given them a deadline to willingly return to their countries and if they don’t, all law enforcement agencies of the state and provinces will deport them, says interior minister
The father died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries in the wedding hall fire in Al-Hamdaniya, Nineveh Governorate, northern Iraq.