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Sole Crash Survivors: Children, Crew Stand Out

Recent commercial airline crashes with a sole survivor:

May 12, 2010 - An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus crashed on approach to Tripoli, Libya, with 104 people on board. A 9-year-old Dutch boy, Ruben van Assouw, was the sole survivor.

June 30, 2009 - A Yemenia Airlines flight crashed into the Indian Ocean off the Comoros Islands, killing 152 people on board. A 12-year-old girl clinging to debris survived.

Aug. 27, 2006 - A Comair commuter jet mistakenly trying to take off on a runway that was too short crashed into a field in Lexington, Ky., killing 49 people. The co-pilot, who was pulled from the broken cockpit, was the lone survivor. He lost his left leg and suffered multiple other injuries, including some brain damage.

July 8, 2003 - A Sudan Airways flight that reported technical problems after takeoff crashed about three miles from the Port Sudan airport, killing 116 people. The only survivor, a 3-year-old, was crying when he was found by a nomad on a bush. The boy lost his right leg and suffered burns.

March 6, 2003 - An Air Algerie passenger jet, one of its engines ablaze, crashed shortly after takeoff deep in the Sahara Desert. A young soldier survived; 102 people were killed.

Dec. 15, 1997 - A Tajikistan Airlines plane crashed minutes before it was to land at the Sharjah airport, in the United Arab Emirates. The plane was on a charter flight from Khudjand. Eighty-five people died; the sole survivor was the pilot.

Jan. 11, 1995 - An Intercontinental Aviation flight crashed near Cartagena, Colombia, killing 51 people. The sole survivor was a 9-year-old girl, who was found lying on a thick pad of water lilies near several bodies. She had a broken shoulder and minor bruises.

Nov. 14, 1992 - A Vietnam Airlines flight crashed near the Vietnamese beach resort of Nha Trang after it struck a ridge. All six crew members and 24 of the 25 passengers were killed. The injured sole survivor, a 31-year-old Dutch woman, was taken to a local clinic, and villagers only informed the national authorities of her survival when she regained consciousness a week later.

Aug. 16, 1987 - Northwest Flight 255 stalled after takeoff and crashed onto a highway just after takeoff from Detroit. All six crew and 148 of 149 passengers were killed, as were two people on the ground. The sole survivor was a 4-year old girl who was found strapped into an airplane seat by a volunteer firefighter.

Jan. 26, 1972 - A Yugoslav Airlines flight blows up over Czechoslovakia. Flight attendant Vesna Vulovic was the sole survivor. She plummeted 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) to earth in the plane's tail cone, and landed on a steep heavily wooded slope. Vulovic broke both legs and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. All 27 of the other passengers and crew aboard the Douglas DC-9 airliner perished.

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