Child may be lone survivor in Libya plane crash
By the CNN Wire Staff
- NEW: An 8-year-old Dutch boy apparently suffers bone injuries but survived
- Airbus A330-200 commercial flight crashes during landing at airport in Tripoli, Libya
- European parliament president says about 100 dead. Dutch tourism official says child survived
- Flight carrying 93 passengers, 11 crew was near end of nine-hour flight when it crashed
(CNN) -- A Dutch child is believed to be the only survivor of a passenger plane crash in Libya Wednesday that may have killed more than 100 people, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.
The plane was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew members when it crashed while trying to land at the Tripoli International Airport.
The boy underwent surgery at a hospital in the Libyan capital of Tripoli after the Afriqiyah Airways plane that left Johannesburg crashed as it neared the end of its flight.
He was identified as Ruben van Ashout, 8, a doctor at the hospital where he is being treated told CNN. The boy had many fractures in his lower limbs, the doctor told CNN by phone.
The president of the European Parliament said about 100 people died, and Libya's state news agency said 96 bodies had been recovered.
Nicky Knapp, a representative of the Airports Company South Africa, provided the breakdown in the destinations of the passengers aboard: seven to London, 32 to Brussels, 42 to Dusseldorf, one to Paris, and 11 to Libya. She was speaking on behalf of Afriqiyah Airways.
The plane, an Airbus A330-200, was at the tail end of its nearly nine-hour-long flight when it crashed.
"We express our sincere regret and sadness on behalf of the airline. As well, we would like to express our condolences to the relatives and friends of those who had passengers on Flight 8U771 destined for Tripoli late last night, due to arrive around 6 o'clock this morning," she said.
Calling the incident a tragedy, Jerzy Buzek, the president of the European Parliament said "some 100 people have died no doubt from many countries around the world."
He said the child's survival "given this tragic event, is truly a miracle."
The Dutch Royal Touring Club said 61 of 62 Dutch passengers on the plane died.
A Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said the government was trying to get more information about those aboard.
The British Foreign Office said it was looking into whether British nationals were on board the flight.
At the crash site, workers with surgical masks combed through the smoldering wreckage that spilled over a large area. A wheel lay atop a pile of bags. Two green airline seats sat upright and intact amid burned parts of the aircraft.
Officials recovered the plane's flight data recorder, which investigators use to piece together a flight's last minutes.
The Tripoli-based Afriqiyah (Arabic for "African") operates flights to four continents. The planes in the fleet carry the logo 9.9.99 -- the date when the African Union was formed.
The Airbus that crashed is one of three Airbus 330-200s that the airline owns.