Survivor: Yemenia Crash 'Like Being Electrocuted'

12-year-old sole survivor tells her story
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2009 3:05 PM CDT
Kassim Bakari, the father of 12-year old Bahia Bakari, the only known survivor of the crash of a Yemenia Airbus A 310 jet, answers reporters outside his apartment building south of Paris, Wednesday July...   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
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(Newser) – When a Yemenia Airways jet fell out of the tempestuous sky into the sea, it felt "like being electrocuted," the sole survivor tells the Times of London. Bahia Bakari heard "a big sound" before being ejected from her plane, says the 12-year-old, and survived the hours after the crash by clinging to a piece of floating wreckage. In the dark, choppy seas, Bahia could not see other survivors, but “was hearing people speak."

By the time the sun came up and rescuers found her floating in a fuel slick some 13 hours later, those voices had quieted and Bakari was the only survivor. “She is exhausted and sleeping a lot” in the Paris hospital where she's recovering, says one of Bahia's aunts. “It’s very hard for her, knowing that her mother is missing and that she was the only survivor.” (Read more Yemenia Air stories.)