Afriqiyah Airways flight 8U771 (Airbus A330) from Johannesburg exploded while landing at the Tripoli airport in Libya and went up in flames. It had 93 passengers and 11 crew members, and it seems there is just one survivor, an 8 year old Dutch boy. He has been rushed to a hospital nearby, and his condition is presently unknown. All the crew onboard were Libyan nationals. The flight was scheduled to end at the Gatwick airport in London, after a stopover at Tripoli.
Afriqiyah Airways operates a complete Airbus fleet and is fully owned by the Libyan government. Bongani Sithole, an official of the airline at Johannesburg airport said, “I can confirm the crash but not the number of the dead. We hear that it happened one meter (yard) away from the runway.” Initial reports of the Libyan plane crash suggest that the plane just exploded on landing and completely disintegrated.
The flight had left Johannesburg at 6pm ET and crashed at the Tripoli airport at 11pm ET. It has also been confirmed that weather conditions were good, and visibility was over 3 miles. Afriqiyah Airways posted a statement on its website which said, “The Airbus A330-200 arriving from Johannesburg, South Africa was approaching the airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli when it crashed at around 6 a.m. (0400 GMT, 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday) There was no immediate word on the cause. Afriqiyah Airways announces that our flight 771 had an accident during landing at Tripoli International airport,” the statement said. “At this moment, we have no information concerning possible casualties or survivors. Our information is that there were 93 passenger and 11 crew aboard. Authorities are conducting the search and rescue mission.”
Libyan state TV showed pictures of debris scattered over a large area, which included small and big pieces of plane debris. Police and rescue workers were seen carrying away bodies. The wreckage was still smoldering, and the airlines said that the search-and-rescue operation was completed and casualties had been moved to various hospitals.
A teams of French crash investigators are already on their way to Tripoli. The Tripoli airport does not have the all-weather, precision approach system known as the Instrument Landing System. But it does have a high frequency omnidirectional radio system and a non-directional beacon, two systems that are used worldwide.
By Clifford AGA
Article Source: buzzle.com