Dutch crash boy home Saturday, told of family's deaths
A nine-year-old Dutch boy who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Libya has been told his parents were killed and will arrive back in the Netherlands Saturday, officials and his family said.
The boy, Ruben van Assouw, "will be accompanied by his uncle and aunt and the doctor treating him," ministry spokesman Christoph Prommersberger told AFP Friday after the crash this week that killed 103 people.
They are set to leave Tripoli by plane at 10:00 am (0800 GMT) Saturday for a location in the Netherlands that the ministry refused to disclose, asking the media to stay away.
The country's tourism federation, which has been handling the boy's repatriation, said the plane is set to land at Eindhoven military airport in the south of the Netherlands at around 1:00 pm (1100 GMT).
"We have explained to Ruben exactly what happened," said a statement from the boy's aunt and uncle read out to media in Tripoli. "He knows that his parents and his brother are dead."
The statement said the boy was doing well under the circumstances and had seen the flowers and messages of support sent to him.
"The time ahead will be a difficult period for us," the statement said. "We hope that the media will respect our privacy."
The boy, from the southern city of Tilburg, is recovering in a Tripoli hospital after surgery on his smashed legs.
He had been returning from a safari holiday in South Africa with his parents and 11-year-old brother, all of whom died when an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 from Johannesburg disintegrated on landing on Wednesday.
© 2010 AFP