Libya plane crash kills 103, Dutch boy survives

Libya plane crash kills 103, Dutch boy survives

A Libyan Airbus jet crashed early on Wednesday as it tried to land in Tripoli airport, killing 103 people on board, most of them Dutch, leaving a young Dutch boy the sole survivor, officials said.

The Airbus A330-200, which had only been in service since September, was flying from Johannesburg to the Libyan capital when it crashed just short of the runway around 6 am (0400 GMT), the airline and planemaker said.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said there were several dozen Dutch passengers on board the aircraft. Libyan officials said 22 of the victims were Libyans, but they gave no details of the other nationalities on board.

“Everybody is dead, except for one child,” Libyan Transport Minister Mohamed Zidan told a news conference at Tripoli airport. The plane was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew, Libyan officials and executives from the airline said.

The minister said investigators were working to establish the cause of the crash but he ruled out terrorism.

He told reporters the survivor was a 10-year-old Dutch child who did not have life-threatening injuries. “The child is in good condition and is in hospital undergoing checks,” he said.

A spokesman for Dutch Motorists' Association ANWB, which has an emergency assistance service for Dutch people abroad, said that 61 Dutch nationals were killed in the crash.

Black boxes recovered

Saleh Ali Saleh, head of the airline’s legal department, said that the plane’s black boxes had been recovered from the crash site and an investigation was underway. “The deaths were probably due to the impact as I did not hear any report of a fire. The plane was travelling fast as it was still short of the runway when it crashed,” Saleh said.

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