Teen Crash Survivor Clung to Floating Wreckage for 13 Hours

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 7:31 AM CDT
Some hundreds of Comorans gather outside the El Maruf Hospital in Moroni, Tuesday, June 30, 2009, after news that a Yemenia Airbus passenger plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.   (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – The 14-year-old girl who appears to be the lone survivor of yesterday’s Yemenia Airlines crash is recovering and in no danger, the BBC reports. Bahia Bakari escaped the crash with just a few cuts to her face and a fractured collarbone, though she can barely swim, and wasn't wearing a life vest. "It is a true miracle," a French official tells the AP. "She held onto a piece of the plane from 1:30am to 3pm."

“She’s a very timid girl, I never thought she would escape like that,” says her father, who spoke with her on the phone yesterday. “She said, 'Daddy, I don’t know what happened, but the plane fell into the water and I found myself in the water ... surrounded by darkness. I couldn’t see anyone.' ” Rescuers found her 13 hours later. “We tried to throw a life buoy. She could not grab it," one rescuer said. "I had to jump in the water to get her.”