Libya Plane Crash Black Boxes Flown To France

May 21, 2010

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A Libyan investigator on Thursday flew to France with the black box flight recorders from a wrecked Airbus plane to try to establish why it crashed killing 103 people, officials said.

The sole survivor from the May 12 crash was a 9-year-old Dutch boy who was returning with his family from a safari holiday in South Africa.

There has so far been no indication of what caused the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200, which had only been in service since September, to crash into the ground as it came in to land at Tripoli airport after a flight from Johannesburg.

Abdul Rahman Alabbar, Libya's Attorney-General who is supervising the investigation, said 85 percent of the debris from the aircraft had so far been recovered and examined.

He said that Naji Dhaw, head of a commission of investigation, was taking the two black boxes to France where specialists would "examine its components which will help reveal the circumstances of the incident."

Dhaw said he expected that there would be a statement next week on the results of work being conducted by the commission of investigation.

The Dutch boy who survived the crash, Ruben Van Assouw, suffered bone fractures. He flew home last week on board a Libyan ambulance plane, accompanied by his aunt and uncle who had flown to Tripoli to bring him home.

The Dutch government said a total of 70 Dutch citizens died in the crash. Afriqiyah Airways, which has its headquarters in Tripoli, said the dead also included nationals from Libya, South Africa, Austria, Germany, Zimbabwe, France and Britain.

(Reuters)