Libyan jet with 104 crashes; child sole survivor
TRIPOLI, Libya – A Libyan plane carrying 104 people crashed Wednesday on approach to Tripoli's airport, leaving a field scattered with smoldering debris that included a large chunk of the tail painted with the airline's brightly colored logo. A 10-year-old Dutch child was the only known survivor.
The Dutch prime minister said everyone on the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 arriving from Johannesburg, South Africa was killed except the child, whose survival was hailed as a miracle.
The youth was taken to a hospital in Tripoli and was undergoing surgery for injuries including broken bones. Libyan TV showed video of the dark-haired child lying in a hospital bed with a bandaged head and wearing an oxygen mask. The child had intravenous lines in one arm and appeared to be conscious.
"Afriqiyah Airways announces that our flight 771 had an accident during landing at Tripoli International airport," a statement said. "At this moment, we have no information concerning possible casualties or survivors. Our information is that there were 93 passenger and 11 crew aboard. Authorities are conducting the search and rescue mission."
Libyan Transport Minister Mohammed Ali Zaidan said 96 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage and rescuers were searching for the rest of the victims.
The head of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek said the child's survival was "truly a miracle." The plane was approaching the airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli when it crashed at around 6 a.m. (0400 GMT, 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday) There was no immediate word on the cause, according to a statement by the airlines posted on its website.