Wednesday, May 12, 2010

8 year old survives Tripoli plane crash

Reports say that an 8-year-old Dutch boy has survived a deadly plane crash at Tripoli airport. The Netherlands' prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende confirmed the survival of the boy at a press conference broadcast on Dutch TV. He said "dozens of Dutch people" were among the dead in the crash. The Libyan transport minister, Mohamed Zidan, said at least 96 people had died in the crash, though earlier Jerzy Buzek, the president of the European Parliament, was quoted as saying he had been told that about 100 people had been killed in the crash. 

Even the number of those on board varied. According to the airline the Airbus 330-200 was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew members. However another source earlier told the AFP news agency there were 94 passengers and 11 crew members. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear. British authorities are meanwhile trying to establish if any of its nationals were among those on board.

Weather was said to be good at the time of the incident with happened at 06:00 local time (04:00 GMT) Wednesday. The plane, Flight 771 from Johannesburg, came down as it approached Tripoli airport. Pictures showed debris covering a wide area with only the tail-fin being immediately recognisable as a part of what was once an aircraft. The aircraft was not filled to capacity carrying less than half of a possible 253 passengers.

Afriqiyah Airways, with its hub in Tripoli, was founded in 2001. It has 13 aircraft in its fleet and flies to 25 countries, principally in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The reason behind the crash is not yet known however Libyan authorities have ruled out terrorism. Both black boxes had been recovered and are likely to help in establishing the cause of the disaster. The European Aviation Safety Agency [EASA], an arm of the European Union, is coordinating with Airbus and French investigators in helping to determine the cause of the crash. A team from the French-based agency will fly to Tripoli on Wednesday afternoon, Daniel Hoeltgen spokesman for the EASA said.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

No comments: