Libya plane crash boy survivor says he's "fine", in pain

14th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The nine-year-old Dutch boy who was the only survivor from the Libyan plane crash that killed 103 people has told how he is in a lot of pain but eager to get home, a Dutch daily reported Friday.

The Telegraaf said Ruben van Assouw could remember nothing of the crash and was not yet aware that his parents and 11-year-old brother had died in the disaster.

"My name is Ruben and I am from Holland," Telegraaf reported on a telephone conversation with the sole survivor of Wednesday's Afriqiyah Airways crash, recovering in a Libyan hospital after surgery.

"I am fine, but my legs hurt a lot," the boy told a reporter from the newspaper on a mobile phone of one of his doctors.

"I am in a hospital," the boy told the newspaper. "There are men and women here. I don't know how I got here, I don't know anything more," he said.

"I really want to go home."

The boy and his family had been returning from a safari holiday in South Africa.

He has only been identified by the Dutch foreign ministry as Ruben but more fully by Dutch media as Ruben van Assouw. He greeted an aunt and uncle with a smile when they arrived at his Tripoli bedside on Thursday, a doctor said.

Ruben is recovering after surgery to his smashed legs, and would be transported to the Netherlands as soon as his medical condition allowed.

Officials said 70 Dutch citizens, including Ruben's family, were among the 103 people killed when the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 coming from Johannesburg disintegrated on landing in Tripoli on Wednesday.

The Dutch newspaper Brabants Dagblad said the boy was probably from Tilburg in the southern Netherlands and that he had been on safari in South Africa with his mother Trudy, 41, father Patrick, 40, and brother Enzo, 11.

© 2010 AFP

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