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Teenage crash survivor ‘ejected’ from plane

FRANCE: A teenage girl who miraculously survived the Yemenia airliner crash off the Comoros was ejected from the plane into pitch-black Indian Ocean waters, her father said Wednesday.

“She didn’t feel a thing. She found herself in water,” Kassim Bakari told French radio RTL after speaking to his 13-year-old daughter Bahia from her hospital room in Moroni.

“She could hear people talking, but in the middle of the night she couldn’t see a thing.

She managed to hold on to a piece of something,” said the Comoran from the Paris suburbs, whose partner was also on board the doomed flight.

“She said she was ejected from the plane.” So far the only survivor among the 153 people on board the Yemenia airliner, the teenager escaped without serious injuries from the crash as the jet tried to land at Moroni airport at the end of a four-stage flight from France. Also speaking on RTL, the head of the crisis cell in the Comoros said the teenager survived astonishing odds.

“It is truly, truly, miraculous,” said Ibrahim Abdoulazeb. “The young girl can barely swim.”

Bakari said he had no hope of seeing his partner or daughter again upon learning of the crash.

“She is a very, very shy girl. I would never have thought she would have survived like this. I can’t say that it’s a miracle, I can say that it is God’s will,” he said.

He said his daughter, who was being treated for mild burn injuries and was expected shortly to be flown home to France on a ministerial plane, had been told her mother survived the crash.

“When I spoke to her she was asking for her mother. They told her she was in a room next door, so as not to traumatise her. But it’s not true. I don’t know who is going to tell her.” Paris, Thursday, AFP

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