Boy who survived Libya plane crash speaks

2010-05-14 11:14

The nine-year-old Dutch boy who was the only survivor of a plane

crash that killed 103 people said he was in a lot of pain but keen to go


Ruben van Assouw could remember nothing of Wednesday’s disaster and

was not yet aware that his parents and 11-year-old brother had died in the

accident, the Dutch newspaper Telegraaf reported.

“My name is Ruben and I am from Holland,” the sole survivor of the

Afriqiyah Airways crash in Tripoli had said.

“I am fine, but my legs hurt a lot,” the boy told a reporter from

the newspaper on the mobile phone of one of his doctors.

“I am in a hospital,” Ruben told the newspaper. “There are men and

women here. I don’t know how I got here, I don’t know anything more,” he


“I really want to go home.”

He greeted an aunt and uncle with a smile when they arrived at his

Tripoli bedside yesterday and would be transported to the Netherlands as soon as

his medical condition allowed, a doctor said.

Officials said 70 Dutch citizens, including Ruben’s family, were

among the 103 people killed when the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 from

Johannesburg disintegrated on landing on Wednesday.

The Dutch newspaper Brabants Dagblad said the boy was probably from

Tilburg in the southern Netherlands and that he had been on safari in South

Africa with his mother Trudy, 41, father Patrick, 40, and brother Enzo,


Siddiq ben Dilla, the doctor who operated on the boy, said

yesterday that he was “getting better” and could return to the Netherlands in

the next few days.

“His family is with him now,” the doctor told AFP. “His memory is

good: as soon as his relatives walked in he smiled, and was happy to see them.”

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