May 12, 2010 11:58:26 am
An eight-year-old Dutch boy was the sole survivor when a Libyan plane arriving from South Africa exploded on landing at Tripoli airport today,killing more than 100 people,officials said.
Afriqiyah Airways listed 93 passengers and 11 crew members on board its flight 8U771 from Johannesburg.
“I can confirm the crash but not the number of the dead,” said Bongani Sithole,an official of the airline at Johannesburg airport. “We hear that it happened one metre (yard) away from the runway.”
A Libyan security official earlier said that all those on board the Airbus A330 had died but an airport official said in fact a Dutch boy had survived and been rushed to hospital near Tripoli.
There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash,which occurred as the Afriqiyah Airways plane was landing after a flight from Johannesburg at around 6 am (9.30 IST).
“It exploded on landing and totally disintegrated,” the security official said,speaking on condition of anonymity.
The crew members were all Libyan nationals,the official added.
The crash site had been sealed off by security officials and ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen rushing between the airport and the capital,about 50 kilometres apart.
The wreckage could be seen in the distance but no plumes of smoke were evident. Weather conditions were good at Tripoli this morning,with only light clouds in the sky.
Afriqiyah Airways said on its website that it operates an Airbus fleet.
It started operations with five leased planes and signed a contract with Airbus at an exhibition in Paris in 2007 for the purchase of 11 new planes,the website said.
It was founded in April 2001 and at first fully owned by the Libyan state. The company’s capital was later divided into shares to be managed by the Libya-Africa Investment Portfolio.
Last June,a 12-year-old girl was the sole survivor of a Yemeni plane crash off the Comoros.
Recent major plane crashes
A passenger plane crashed in Libya on Wednesday,killing 105 people,Al Arabiya television said,quoting official sources.
Here are some details of major plane crashes in the last three years:
Jan. 1,2007 – Indonesian Boeing 737-400 operated by budget carrier Adam Air disappeared from radar screens during flight from Java to Sulawesi islands. Wreckage located at sea 10 days later. All 102 passengers and crew killed.
May 5 – All 114 people on board Kenya Airways Boeing 737 died when plane crashed in torrential rain after takeoff from Douala in Cameroon,bound for Nairobi.
July 17 – Brazilian TAM passenger plane crashed into buildings when trying to land in Sao Paulo,killing 199 people aboard and on the ground.
Sept. 16 – One-Two-Go,a budget Thai airliner carrying 123 passengers and several crew,crashed on landing at resort island of Phuket. At least 85 of the 123 passengers were killed and five of seven crew.
Aug. 20,2008 – Spanair MD-82,flying to Canary Islands with 166 passengers and six crew,crashed on takeoff at Madrid airport,killing 154 people. Remaining 18 seriously injured.
Aug. 24 – Boeing 737-200 belonging to private Kyrgyz company Itek-Air,chartered by Iranian company and bound for Iran,crashed at Bishkek airport. Around 70 people died,including members of local teenage basketball team.
May 20,2009 – Indonesian C130 military transport plane carrying 110 passengers and crew crashed and burst into flames 6.5 km (4 miles) from Iswahyudi air force base in East Java while preparing to land,killing 98 people,including two on the ground.
June 1 – Air France Airbus A330-200 jetliner carrying 228 people crashed over Atlantic. Fifty-one bodies and 600 pieces of wreckage were recovered before search for survivors was called off on June 26.
June 30 – Yemen Airways aircraft carrying 153 people crashed in sea off Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros. A Franco-Comoran girl was rescued alive from sea. Twenty-four corpses were pulled from waters before search for more bodies was called off.
July 15 – Caspian Airlines aircraft,carrying 153 passengers and 16 crew travelling from Tehran to Yerevan in Armenia,crashed near city of Qazvin,killing all aboard.
Jan. 25,2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed minutes after taking off from Beirut airport in stormy weather,plunging in ball of fire into sea. All 90 passengers and crew killed.
April 10 – Ninety-six people aboard Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s official Tupolev Tu-154 plane were killed in crash near Smolensk airport in western Russia. Plane was carrying Kaczynski,his wife Maria and large number of senior officials.
May 12 – Passenger plane crashed in Libya,killing 105 people,according to al-Arabiya television,citing official sources. Libyan airport official said plane was Libyan-operated Airbus that crashed as it tried to land at Tripoli airport after flight from South Africa.
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