Miracle at Sea: One Person Rescued from Deadly Jet Crash

At least one survivor was rescued today following the crash of a Yemenia Airlines jet near the African island nation of Comoros, government officials told ABC News.

Late in the day Tuesday, rescue officials on Comoros told ABC News the survivor was a 14-year-old-girl. Earlier in the day, government officials said the survivor was a 5-year-old boy.

Col. Movigni Daho, coordinator of the rescue team in Comoros, identified the survivor as Bahia Bariki, a citizen of both France and Comoros. She was traveling for summer holidays to the city of Moroni, the capital of Comoros.

Questions about the Yemania Airlines safety record have been raised, after reports the French government had prohibited the same Airbus A310 jet that crashed today from landing in France.

The passenger jet, was carrying 153 people when it went down in the Indian Ocean as it tried to land at Comoros during stormy weather, officials told ABC News.

The A310 jet was the same jet aircraft that was banned from French skies because of "irregularities," amid growing concerns about the airline's overall safety and maintenance record.

It's the second Airbus crash in two months. An Air France Airbus passenger jet A330-200 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed in the Atlantic Ocean last month, killing all 228 people on board.

Most of the passengers on the Yemenia flight were from Comoros, and were returning from France. The Comoro community in Marseille is the largest in the world outside Comoros. A crisis area has been set up at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to help relatives of the crash victims.

"Everyone knows each other. Everyone has got someone on this flight he knows," a man at the airport told French reporters. "Me, personally, I know 18 people who were on this flight and who were true friends," he said.

"There is considerable dismay," Stephene Salord, the consul general of the Comoros in the Provence Alos Cote d'Azur region of France (where most of the passengers are from) told The Associated Press. " These are families that, each year on the eve of summer, leave Marseille and the region to rejoin their families in the Comoros and spend their holidays."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his "deep emotion" over the crash. The French military stationed in the nearby French islands of Mayoette and Reunion is assisting in the search and rescue operation. There are reports that five bodies have been recovered so far as well as debris, according to Yemeni officials.

Cause of Crash Unknown but Airline Has Difficult History

The cause of the crash is still unknown, and the flight data recorder has not been found, but Hamid Faraj, the deputy chairman of Yemen's civil aviation authority, told ABC News that weather conditions were bad over the Indian Ocean, with winds blowing up to 40 miles per hour.

Yemenia, the national airline of Yemen, has had a history of problems. On the French television network i-Tele TV, French transport minister Dominique Bussereaou called the airline "a company which was under scrutiny" and said that in 2007, aviation inspectors found " a number of faults" in the plane that crashed.

Yemenia was not on the list of European Union banned airlines, but there are reports that the EU safety committee was due to hold hearings on the airline soon.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
null
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...