Dutch child plane crash survivor has precedent

12th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The case of the eight-year-old Dutch boy who was the sole survivor of Wednesday's plane crash in Libya which left 103 dead, is a reminder of the story of a 12-year-old girl who survived a Yemeni airliner crash last year.

Bahia Bakari was the only known survivor among the 153 people on the Yemenia Airbus A310 jet which crashed off the Comoros on June 30, 2009.

The cause of the accident has not yet been explained.

The passengers had left France on a modern Airbus A330, then changed planes in Sanaa to a 19-year-old Airbus A310 to continue on the remainder of their journey to Moroni.

Bakari, who lost her mother in the crash, was ejected into the water in pitch darkness when the plane plunged into the Indian Ocean shortly after beginning its descent towards Moroni airport.

Barely able to swim she survived by clinging for nine hours to wreckage, fighting off discouragement and fatigue as she looked out for the rescue plane that eventually plucked her to safety.

A French official who accompanied Bahia on the trip home said she told him that in the final minutes of the flight she heard "some instructions, she felt like a jolt of electricity, then a loud noise and she found herself in the water."

Suffering from exhaustion, with a fractured collarbone and burns to her knee, Bakari was admitted to a Paris hospital for care, particularly to her face.

Her father said that -- according to her account -- others had survived the initial impact in the rough seas.

In January 2010 the young girl, who lives in the Paris region with her father and her brothers and sister, published her story of the accident with the help of a journalist.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article