Libya says 96 die in plane crash, boy survives

Tripoli–Libya’s transport minister says at least 96 people have died and a Dutch boy has survived the crash of a Libyan Afriqiyah Airways plane with 104 people on board.

Mohammed Ali Zaidan said 96 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, where state television showed dozens of rescue workers and police still sifting through a large field of smoldering debris.

Libya’s official JANA news agency quoted the minister as saying an 8-yearl-old Dutch boy has survived the Wednesday crash on landing at Tripoli’s airport.

The jet, an Airbus A330, was arriving from Johannesburg, South Africa. It carried 93 passengers and 11 crew, according to a statement on the airline’s web site.

The accident took place around 6 AM local time.

The airline said in a second statement on its web site that search and rescue operations have been completed and that casualties had “been moved to various hospitals.

Airbus confirmed the accident on Wednesday but didn’t give any additional detail.

It said it would provide full technical assistance to the authorities in charge of the investigation.

“We have definitely ruled out the theory that the crash was the result of an act of terrorism,” Libya’s transport minister told a media conference.

Libya’s Afriqiyah Airways said the aircraft was coming in to land when it crashed just one metre off the runway.

French investigators would travel to Tripoli on Wednesday to take part in the probe of the accident, the BEA air accident investigation agency said.

European plane-maker Airbus, which built the aircraft, also said it would dispatch experts as part of the French investigating team, the French-based firm said.

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