Investigators rule out technical failure, terrorism as causes of Libyan plane crash

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Probe says no technical fault in Libya plane crash

TRIPOLI, Libya — A commission investigating a plane crash earlier this month in the Libyan capital that killed 103 people have found no evidence of terrorism or mechanical failure, the state news agency said Sunday.

The Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 jetliner plunged into the desert less than a mile (a kilometer) from the runway in Tripoli on May 12 after taking off from Johannesburg. A nine-year-old Dutch boy was the sole survivor.

The commission has determined that the navigational aids at Tripoli’s airport were functioning normally and that the plane did not run out of fuel, the JANA news agency reported. It also said the commission has established that there was no explosion or fire on the aircraft.

In a statement provided to JANA, the commission said the crew made no mayday call, submitted no request to land at an alternative airport and did not ask for technical assistance.

The plane’s black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder — were recovered intact and have been sent to Paris for review.

Experts from the U.S., France, South Africa and the Netherlands are helping Libyan authorities determine the cause of the crash. The investigation is still under way.

Most of those on board the Afriqiyah Airways jetliner were Dutch tourists.

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