AMSTERDAM – The Netherlands has gone into mourning, shocked at the deaths of at least 61 Dutch citizens flying back from spring break vacations in South Africa on a plane that plunged into the Libyan desert near Tripoli.
A young child, the sole survivor, was rushed to a hospital in the Libyan capital for immediate surgery for multiple fractures of both legs, officials said.
Among the 104 people on board were Dutch vacationers on two package tours to South Africa from Dutch travel agencies, one group of 38 people that left from Duessledorf, Germany, and the other group of 24 from Brussels, Belgium. The Dutch foreign minister could not confirm that figure of 62 Dutch nationals on board.
Thirteen hours after the crash, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende voiced frustration at the scanty information arriving from Libya, including the lack of a final passenger list.