May 12th, 2010
09:04 AM ET

100 feared dead in Libya plane crash, child survives

One child is believed to have survived a crash at Libya's Tripoli airport.

[Updated at 9:04 a.m.] One person - believed to be a child - survived the plane crash at Libya's Tripoli airport Wednesday, a spokeswoman from the Royal Dutch Touring Club told CNN.

Sixty-one of 62 Dutch passengers on the plane died, the spokeswoman said.

About 100 people are believed to have died in the crash, the president of the European Parliament has said.

[Updated 7:19 a.m.] A plane carrying 104 people crashed while trying to land at Libya's Tripoli International Airport on Wednesday. And while the airline did not say whether the crash caused fatalities, the president of the European Parliament said about 100 people perished.

Libya's state news agency said 96 bodies had been recovered.

The Afriqiyah Airways plane was flying in from Johannesburg, South Africa, when it crashed while attempting to land at the airport in the Libyan capital, an airline spokeswoman said.

"Some 100 people have died no doubt from many countries around the world; this is a tragedy," said Jerzy Buzek, the president of the European Parliament. "I have also been informed that one 8-year-old child has survived, which given this tragic event, is truly a miracle."

The airline spokeswoman, however, said she could not confirm whether there were any fatalities.

"At the moment we have no details of survivors and Afriqiyah Airways will issue further statements when more details can be released in due course," she said.

The plane, an Airbus A330-200, was carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew members. It was at the tail end of its nearly 9-hour-long flight when it crashed.

A Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said it's "possible that several Dutch citizens were on the plane."

"The prime minister said there are several indications that there were Dutch citizens on board on the plane, but we have no official confirmation on any numbers or personal data of these people. There is no confirmation about survivors either, we are trying to verify this information through our embassy in Tripoli and we will let know more details when we have them," she said.

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.

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Filed under: Air travel • Libya
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bianca

    How can i get information no if there were any south africa on board ?

    May 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bianca

    How can i get information no if there were any south africans on board ?

    May 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Inna

    Where can I get the information about people who were on the board?

    May 13, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |