A330 "Disintegrated" On Landing. One Child Survives
A Libyan Airbus A330 landing in Tripoli after a flight
from South Africa has reportedly "disintegrated" on landing at
Tripoli Airport, killing 103 of the passengers and crew on board,
but leaving a "miracle" survivor ... an 8-year-old boy.
The Afriqiyah Airways airliner "broke up massively" as it landed
about 0600 local time, according to Libyan Transport Minister
Mohammed Ali Zidan. While the cause of the accident is still not
known, Zidan says terrorism is not being considered as a
"There were 104 people on board -- 93 passengers and 11 crew
members," Zidan told a media conference, adding that the remains of
96 victims had already been recovered. The Dutch child was the only
surviver. "His life is not in danger," Zidan said, adding that "the
sole survivor" was in a Tripoli hospital.
The international new service AFP reports that witnesses said
the airplane was breaking up as it came down to land in clear
weather. A security official who requested anonymity said it
"exploded on landing." Bongani Sithole, an official of Afriqiyah
Airways at Johannesburg airport, said the crash happened "one meter
(yard) away from the runway." Minister Zidan said there were
Libyans, Africans, and Europeans aboard the plane.
In a statement on its website, Afriqiyah Airways said:
"Afriqiyah Airways is working together with the South African
immigration and airport Authorities to determine the exact
identities and nationalities of the passengers on board of flight
771 that was tragically lost this morning.
As soon as those are available Afriqiyah Airways will work with
the competent agencies concerned to inform the next of kin."
The airline, the first to be fully owned by the Libyan state,
began service in 2001. It leased 5 Airbus aircraft to start
operations, and had signed a deal at the Paris Air Show in 2007
with Airbus for 11 additional aircraft.