May 13, 2010 – The Dutch boy who survived the tragic plane crash in Libya that killed 103 people as it tried landing at the Tripoli International Airport is the lone survivor, and no one has told him yet that both of his parents and his brother have died.
Click here for more details of Wednesday’s crash.
9-year-old Ruben van Assouw is still groggy from surgery. His aunt and uncle came to see him Thursday after rushing in from Holland.
Dutch Foreign Ministry officials said Ruben may not know the extent of his loss. No one has told him yet that his family died in Wednesday’s crash. Ruben and his family were returning home from a family vacation in South Africa to celebrate his parents’ 12 ½ year anniversary – a Dutch tradition.
“He’s awake. He’s talking. He is listening,” the official, Ed Kronenburg, told The Associated Press after visiting Ruben in the hospital. “Of course he also sleeps quite a lot because he got anesthesia yesterday and is still a bit dizzy,” he added.
“He hasn’t been told yet, as far as we know, that his parents died.”
Libyan safety Official Col. Baloul al-Khoja said rescuers found Ruben still strapped into his seat at one end of a large debris field after the plane crashed while trying to land in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Ruben was semiconscious and unresponsive, bleeding moderately from the wounds to his legs. He did not cry a lot, al-Khoja said.
Ruben was found about a half mile from a big piece of the tail section, indicating he may have been sitting in the front of the plane when it shattered into pieces.
While officials cannot confirm the deaths of Ruben’s family, they say it is likely they all perished in the crash.
Kronenburg, the permanent undersecretary of the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, said, “I spoke to the doctors who are treating him [Ruben] and they are very satisfied about his condition. Actually, I’ve seen for myself and he’s OK.”
Dr. Hameeda al-Saheli, head of the pediatric unit where Ruben is being treated, said he’s breathing normally and his vital organs are intact. He suffered four fractures in his legs and lost a lot of blood, but his neck, skull and brain were not affected and he did not suffer internal bleeding.
Libya: 103 believed dead in plane crash; one ‘miracle child’ survivor (Slideshow)
Written by Isabelle Zehnder, cakechow.com