Yemeni officials say child survivor rescued after plane crash .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL – A five-year-old child was rescued from an Airbus A310-300 from Yemen that crashed into stormy seas with 153 people on board as it came into land in the Comoros islands early Tuesday, officials said. (UPDATED)

"A doctor from the military hospital aboard one of the rescue boats called the Mitsamiouli hospital to tell them a child had been rescued alive," Halidi Ahmed Abdou, a doctor at a medical centre opened for survivors, told Reuters.

Hadji Madi Ali, director of the international airport in Moroni, told national radio the child was five years old. He said five bodies had also been found.

There were 142 passengers and 11 crew on the Yemenia airline flight that left Paris early Monday and made stops in Marseille, Sanaa and Djibouti. France's Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said Yemenia was a company "under surveillance" and that "numerous faults" had been recorded on the jet involved, AFP reported.
Two French military planes and a French ship left the Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte and Reunion to search for the aircraft that was carrying nationals from France and Comoros. Paris Airport said there were 66 French nationals aboard.

There was no immediate information about the possible cause of the crash.

"We still do not have information about the reason behind the crash or survivors," Mohammad al-Sumairi, deputy general manager for Yemenia operations told Reuters.

"The weather conditions were rough; strong wind and high seas. The wind speed recorded on land at the airport was 61 km (38 miles) an hour. There could be other factors," he said.

It is the second Airbus to plunge into the sea this month. An Air France Airbus A330-200 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing 228 people on board on June 1.

In 1996, a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 also crashed into the sea off the Comoros islands in 1996, killing 125 of 175 passengers and crew.

A United Nations official at the airport, who declined to be named, said the control tower had received notification the plane was coming into land, and then lost contact with it.

Yemenia is 51 percent owned by the Yemeni government and 49 percent owned by the Saudi Arabian government. Its fleet includes two Airbus 330-200s, four Airbus 310-300s and four Boeing 737-800s, according to the company website.

The Comoros covers three small volcanic islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, in the Mozambique channel, 300 km (190 miles) northwest of Madagascar and a similar distance east of the African mainland.

France and the Comoros have enjoyed close ties since the islands' independence in 1975. The French Foreign Ministry estimates 200,000 people from Comoros live in mainland France.
Photo: Reuters