WOERDEN, The Netherlands—The nine-year old sole survivor of the plane crash in Tripoli, which killed 103 people, is in a stable condition after surgery. The boy, identified as Ruben van Assouw from Tilburg in the Netherlands, lost his parents and brother in the crash on Wednesday. He will return home with his aunt and uncle and Dutch rescue workers when his health allows.
Several hundred meters before the runway is a long trail of scrap, among which reporters identified pieces of the metal, clothes, chairs, magazines, life jackets, and so on. One reporter found a Dutch diary lying on the ground opened on a page which read, "We are flying to South Africa today.”
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs arranged a closed meeting in Hoofddorp for family members of the 70 Dutch nationals who died in the crash. Many Dutch politicians, among whom was Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, expressed their sympathy at the meeting. Afriqiyah Airways offered the victims' family members the possibility to fly to Libya to identify the victims.
Flags were lowered to half-mast throughout the Netherlands, scheduled TV programming on public and commercial channels was interrupted to cover the crash, and political parties postponed their election campaigns.
The cause of the plane crash is still unknown but terrorism was ruled out by Libyan Transport Minister Mohammed Ali Zidan. A lawyer with the Dutch lawfirm AKD Advocaten sees this crash as having a possible parallel with the Air France plane crash off the coast of Brazil, which was also of the same type of airplane, namely an Airbus A330.
"Both planes have perpendicularly fallen out of the air at great speed. This can be seen from shattered remains and from the fact that only the tail and the stabilizers of the plane are still [standing] upright,” said lawyer Frans Vreede, according to De Telegraaf.
The plane’s black box will give an insight into the possible causes of the crash, but there is no word of the results at this time. Among the 103 casualties is the famous South African author Bree O'Mara. She reportedly was on her way to sign a book deal in London.
"We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims; the search and rescue mission has now been completed and casualties have been moved to various hospitals,” Afriqiyah Airways said in a public statement.