Page last updated at 19:22 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 20:22 UK

Child is sole survivor of Tripoli air crash

Aftermath of the plane crash at Tripoli airport

A child aged about 10 is the only survivor of a plane crash at Tripoli airport in Libya which killed more than 100 people.

Libyan officials say the child is Dutch and is being treated in hospital for injuries including broken bones.

Dutch officials say 61 of their nationals were killed in the crash.

The plane, belonging to the Libyan airline Afriqiyah Airways, crashed as it arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause is not yet known.

Other passengers included nationals from Libya, South Africa, Germany, Britain and France.

Survivor of Tripoli plane crash
Libyan TV showed the child who survived being treated in hospital

The Airbus A330 - carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew - crashed as it came in to land at Tripoli and disintegrated. The plane's tailfin bearing the airline's colourful insignia was the only sizeable piece of wreckage to be seen.

The child was taken to hospital and underwent surgery for multiple fractures to both legs, officials said.

Libyan TV showed the child in a hospital bed with a bandaged head and wearing an oxygen mask.

Libyan officials and the Dutch tourism board said he was a 10-year-old Dutch boy, but the Dutch foreign ministry said it could not verify any details.

Flags across the Netherlands were flying at half mast for the victims on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said a crisis team had been set up in the foreign ministry.

"This is a large group of Dutch nationals, so it's a deeply sad message we have this day," he said.

The plane's 11 crew were reported to have been Libyan.

The British Foreign Office confirmed that at least one British national was on board and Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin later confirmed that an Irish woman was among the dead.

Libyan Transport Minister Mohammed Ali Zidan said victims also included nationals from Germany, Finland, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, South Africa and France, although he had no exact numbers.

Connecting flights

Nicky Knapp, a spokeswoman for Airports Company South Africa, said seven passengers were booked to connect to London Gatwick Airport, 32 to Brussels, 42 to Dusseldorf in Germany, and one to Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

South African

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Some reports suggest the plane crashed very close to the runway.

A flight recorder has already been recovered, and officials hope this will provide some clues as to what caused the disaster.

However, Mr Zidan ruled out terrorism as the cause of the crash.

He said arrangements were being made to help victims' relatives come to Tripoli.

According to Airbus, the aircraft was delivered from the production line in September 2009 and had accumulated about 1,600 flight hours in some 420 flights.

Afriqiyah Airways is a low-cost Libyan airline founded nine years ago and operates a relatively new fleet of Airbus aircraft, the BBC's Wyre Davies in Cairo reports.

Briton among Libya air crash dead
13 May 10 |  Africa
In pictures: Libya crash
12 May 10 |  In Pictures
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24 May 10 |  Special Reports

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