May 16, 2010 in Nation/World

Crash’s sole survivor flies home

Toby Sterling Associated Press
 

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The 9-year-old Dutch boy who miraculously survived a plane crash in Libya returned to the Netherlands aboard an airborne ambulance Saturday and was whisked away to a hospital in his hometown, where he must begin to rebuild his life without his parents or brother.

Ruben van Assouw was the sole survivor, pulled unconscious from the wreckage of an Afriqiyah Airways jetliner that plunged into the desert less than a mile from the runway in Tripoli on Wednesday, killing 103 people.

Investigators from the U.S. and other countries were on the scene of the crash near the Libyan capital Saturday trying to determine a cause.

Ruben returned with an aunt and uncle aboard a flight to a military air base in Eindhoven, then was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in nearby Tilburg, the hometown of the Van Assouws.

Ruben underwent more than four hours of surgery to repair multiple fractures to his legs Wednesday, but doctors say he has been recovering well.

A statement by close relatives said the extended family will care for Ruben and asked the media not to contact them while they are grieving.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus