Dutch boy survivor of Libya crash to return home Saturday

14th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

A nine-year-old Dutch boy who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Libya that killed 103 people will arrive back in the Netherlands on Saturday, the Dutch foreign ministry said.

The boy Ruben "will be accompanied by his uncle and aunt and the doctor treating him," ministry spokesman Christoph Prommersberger told AFP Friday.

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.

"At the request of Ruben's family, the arrival location will not be made public and the media will not be allowed to be present," said Prommersberger.

"The family appeals to the media to practice restraint and to leave his family in peace in this difficult time ... to process their loss."

The boy, identified by the ministry only as nine-year-old Ruben from the southern city of Tilburg but fully by the media as Ruben van Assouw, 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.

The Dutch federation of tour operators responsible for Ruben's repatriation, ANWB, said the boy's plane was expected to land at the Eindhoven military air field in the southern Netherlands around 1100 GMT, but stressed he would be shielded from the public and media.

© 2010 AFP

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