Survivor of Afriqiyah Airways crash in recovery after surgery

by William ASTON on May 14, 2010

The sole survivor of the Afriqiyah Airways crash in Libya at the Tripoli airport is reportedly in stable condition after undergoing surgery in the wake of the crash.

According to the Dutch Media, the young boy’s name is Ruben van Assouw. Ruben had to undergo several surgeries on both legs due to extensive fracturing from the incident.┬áThe plane’s black box has been recovered and given to investigators who are analysing the cause of the crash landing on Wednesday. An image of the boy from a Libyan TV station showed him in hospital with bandages on his head and his legs in casts.

Head of the surgery team, Sedig Benzala said the four-hour operation was successful, but that the boy would remain in intensive care for the time being. In addition to the multiple fractures, the boy also has a concussion.

The boy received a visit from Dutch foreign ministry representative, Ed Kronenberg. Some of the boy’s relatives, including a Dutch couple that confirmed his identity, have arrived in Tripoli to be at the boy’s bedside.┬áThe initial response team has been credited with saving the boy’s life by immediately noticing him and pulling him from the wreckage. Officials have called the boy’s survival a true miracle, and he is expected to fully recover, although doctors say it will take weeks.

Flags in the Netherlands were taken to half mast on Wednesday in honour of the other 103 victims killed in the crash. Afriqiyah Airways has said that as many as 59 of the victims of the crash were Dutch.

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