16 May 2010

Boy crash survivor returns home

2:28 pm on 16 May 2010

A Dutch boy who was the only survivor of an air crash in Libya on Wednesday has arrived home on a medical evacuation flight.

Ruben van Assouw, aged nine, was accompanied by his aunt and uncle on the flight from Tripoli to Eindhoven. He was told on Friday that his parents and brother had died.

The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus 330 crashed short of the runway at Tripoli airport on Wednesday, as it flew in from Johannesburg in South Africa: 103 people died.

Ruben has multiple fractures to his legs. Sedig Benzala, the head of the medical team caring for him, said he was recovering well after a four-and-a-half hour operation.

Ruben's aunt and uncle said their nephew was doing well under the circumstances.

Ruben had been on holiday in South Africa with his parents, Trudy and Patrick van Assouw, and his older brother, Enzo.

The BBC reports the family had been celebrating the parents' 12-and-a-half-year wedding anniversary, a Dutch custom.

The Airbus 330 - carrying 93 passengers and 11 crew - crashed on Wednesday morning. The pilot reported no problems during the plane's approach to land.

The plane's flight recorders have been sent to Paris for examination.