Child survives Libya plane crash

2010-05-12 08:40

An eight-year-old Dutch boy was the sole survivor when a Libyan

plane arriving from South Africa exploded on landing at Tripoli airport on

Wednesday, killing more than 100 people, officials said.


Afriqiyah Airways listed 93 passengers and 11 crew members on board

its flight 8U771 from Johannesburg.


Bongani Sithole, an official of the airline at Johannesburg

airport, said: “I can confirm the crash but not the number of the dead. We hear

that it happened one metre away from the runway.”


A Libyan security official earlier said that all those onboard the

Airbus A330 had died but an airport official said in fact a Dutch boy had

survived and been rushed to hospital near Tripoli.


There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash, which

occurred as the Afriqiyah Airways plane was landing after a flight from

Johannesburg at around 6am.


The security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:

“It exploded on landing and totally disintegrated.”


The crew members were all Libyan nationals, the official

added.


An AFP correspondent said the crash site had been sealed off by

security officials and ambulances, and emergency vehicles were seen rushing

between the airport and the capital, about 50km apart.


The wreckage could be seen in the distance but no plumes of smoke

were evident. Weather conditions were good at Tripoli this morning, with only

light clouds in the sky.


Afriqiyah Airways said on its website that it operates an Airbus

fleet.


It started operations with five leased planes and signed a contract

with Airbus at an exhibition in Paris in 2007 for the purchase of 11 new planes,

the website said.


It was founded in April 2001 and at first fully owned by the Libyan

state. The company’s capital was later divided into shares to be managed by the

Libya-Africa Investment Portfolio.


On April 21, the airline announced that flights were back to normal

after disruptions due to the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland that grounded

flights in Europe last month.


Last June, a 12-year-old girl was the sole survivor of a Yemeni

plane crash off the Comoros.

 

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