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Technical snag led to Sudan air crash?



The sole survivor of Tuesday's Sudan Airways plane crash, two-year-old Mohammed al-Fatih, in the hands of medical personnel, after being flown to Khartoum. The baby lost its leg in the crash and his mother was among the 115 killed. — Reuters

KHARTOUM (Sudan) JULY 9. Aviation experts were examining a Sudanese airliner's black box and other evidence on Wednesday to determine why the plane crashed shortly after take-off, killing 115 people. The survival of a 3-year-old boy was described as ``a miracle.''

The Sudan Airways plane, headed from Port Sudan on the north-eastern coast to the capital, crashed before dawn on Tuesday in a wooded area just after take-off. The Boeing 737 wreckage was badly burned, and authorities decided to rapidly bury all bodies, including eight foreigners. ``The bodies were buried in a mass grave after performing the Muslim prayer because the conditions of the bodies would not allow transporting and delivering them to the relatives,'' the Red Sea State Governor, Hatem el-Wassila, said.

The sole survivor, 3-year-old Mohammed el-Fateh Osman, was admitted to intensive care at Port Sudan hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Khartoum.

Surgeons said Osman was in stable condition but would undergo two surgeries. ``His kidneys were not functioning well. He had suffered dehydration and burning, but now he is doing well,'' Dr. Omer el Amin said.

State television broadcast pictures of the boy early on Wednesday showing he had lost the lower part of his right leg and suffered burns to the face, neck, back and one of his hands.

The boy's mother died in the crash. His father and elder sister live in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum.

A team of experts flew to the debris-covered scene to investigate the crash, and recovered the black box flight recorder on Tuesday. Initial reports cited a technical problem. — AP

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