Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 crashes in Libya

by B. N. Sullivan

Afriqiyah A330-200An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft has crashed in Libya. According to a statement issued by the Libyan carrier, the accident occurred as the aircraft (registration 5A-ONG) was landing at Tripoli International airport, at 04:00 UTC (06:00 AM Tripoli time) on Wednesday May 12, 2010. The aircraft, operating as Afriqiyah Flight 8U-771, was arriving at Tripoli from Johannesburg, South Africa. The airline states that there were 11 crew members and 93 passengers on board.

Early news reports say that more than 100 may have perished in the accident, but this has not been officially confirmed. More to follow as reliable information becomes available.

UPDATE May 12, 2010: Afriqiyah Airways officially confirmed today that 103 passengers and crew on board Flight 8U-771 perished in the crash. There was only one survivor -- a Dutch child.

Airbus, the manufacturer of the accident aircraft, also released a statement, which said in part:
The aircraft involved in the accident, registered as 5A-ONG, was MSN (Manufacturer Serial Number) 1024, delivered from the production line in September 2009. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 1600 flight hours in some 420 flights. It was powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines. At this time no further factual information is available.

Preliminary reports indicate that the aircraft crashed short of the runway threshold during approach. According to available information there were 93 passengers and 11 crew on board.

In line with ICAO Annex 13 international convention Airbus is dispatching a team of technical advisors to support the investigation authorities and the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) as accredited representative.
Condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of all those who lost their lives in this terrible accident.

[Photo Source]

Video of the accident site, showing a debris field and what appears to be a flight data recorder:

If the video does not play or display properly above, click here to view it on YouTube.