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Boy, 9, sole survivor of plane crash that killed 103 people


A boy miraculously survived a plane crash that killed all of the other 103 passengers on board including two Brits.

Ruben van Assouw, 9, was named the sole survivor after he was flung from the aircraft when it exploded and disintegrated into pieces.

The catastrophic crash took place 12 years ago, with the child being thought to be only the 14th sole survivor of a serious plane crash at the time.

The Dutch boy was located in the wreckage of the Libyan-owned Airbus A330-200 and was operated on for four hours following the ordeal.

His legs were severely impacted and broken in several places and couldn’t move parts of his injured body, with fears his brain may have been bruised.



The crash took place on May 12, 2010
The crash took place on May 12, 2010

His parents were sadly pronounced dead from the crash, reports Daily Mail.

It was reported that when he was asked by medics where he was from, Ruben managed to mumble: “Holland, Holland.”

Afriqiyah Airways confirmed that two Britons and an Irish citizen were among those who had died when Flight 771 from Johannesburg, South Africa, erupted as it came in to land at Tripoli, Libya.

A source commented: “It’s an absolute miracle that he got out.”

“The plane crashed next to the runway. It was around a metre away.

“The body of the plane completely disintegrated, meaning most people would have died straight away.”

It was reported that the pilot was said to have warned air traffic controllers that there was an issue as he approached Tripoli airport.



He was hospitalised with serious injuries
He was hospitalised with serious injuries

Officials said at the time that weather conditions and visibility were good and ruled out the possibility of terrorism.

Close relatives issued a statement and confirmed that the extended family look after Ruben and requested to not be contacted by the media, reports NBC News.

Tilburg mayor Ivo Opstelten said on Dutch television: “Let’s make sure he can catch his breath peacefully in the arms of relatives.

The child and his family need to find “a kind of balance with each other, so they can start sketching a future.”

Ruben attended the Yore elementary school in Tilburg. The school director Elly Sebregts said at the time: “When he comes back — we don’t know exactly how things are going to go — but when he comes back to school, we’re going to take awfully good care of him.

“That’s the school’s job, I think. What we can do for him, in the school sphere, we will do.”

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