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Did Anyone Survive the Yemenia Flight 626 Plane Crash?

The tragic Yemenia Flight 626 has taken the lives of more than 150 passengers of the A310-324 aircraft. Based on the final report, the inappropriate flight controls and the crew’s ignorance of the plane-issued warnings resulted in its crashing. But were there any survivors?

Bahia Bakari, a 12-year-old French girl, was the only survivor of the infamous crash of the Airbus A310-324. She was spotted after 13 hours of desperately clinging onto a piece of debris on the sea surface, 

The Infamous Yemenia Flight 626

On June 30, 2009, an aircraft A310-324 twin-engine jetliner crashed at 1 in the morning during its flight towards Prince Said Ibrahim International Airport located in Comoros. Known as the notorious Yemenia Flight 626, the crashed international flight left only one survivor of the 153 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft; despite numerous efforts of the Yemeni government, most of the victims’ bodies have yet to be recovered.

According to the final report on the Yemenia Flight 626 incident, the improper flight control inputs of the aircraft’s crew consequentially resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Additionally, the aircraft-issued warnings remained ignored by the personnel.

The French Minister of Transport, Dominique Busserau, stated that the inspection of A310-324 done by the French Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile in 2007 had determined multiple flaws in the jetliner. Ever since its assessment, the aircraft never returned to France.

French Transport Minister Dominique Busserau declared that France banned the jetliner due to abnormalities in its technical equipment years ago. In response, Khaled Ibrahim Alwazir, Yemeni Minister of Transport, argues that the aircraft had no problems aligning with the international standards since the plane had faced another thorough investigation by experts in Yemen.

The Comoran people marched in Paris in honor of the Yemenia Flight 626 victims. The Comoran community also disrupted Yemenia flights in French airports to protest its safety record, preventing passengers from boarding their plane. Yemenia Airways had no choice but to cancel their flights indefinitely. (Source: Time Note

The Sole, Persevering Bahia Bakari 

The only survivor found in the Yemenia Flight 626 incident was a 14-year-old girl. Found clutching onto a debris piece amid the aircraft wreckage and the lifeless bodies in the ocean, local fishermen and speedboats sent by authorities rescued wee Franko-Comoran Bahia Bakari. Bakari had been clinging to the wrecked piece for more than 12 hours. (Source: Time Note

Bahia Bakari boarded the flight with her mother to visit their relatives in Moroni, Comoros. Her mother failed to survive the tragic incident. The memories surrounding the crash remained blurry to Bahia as she states that after they’ve been ordered to fasten their seatbelts because of the oncoming crash, she remembers almost nothing.

The next thing that Bahia remembered was the feeling of an electric shock and the voices of crying women. Bahia only saw fragments and solidified her resolve to swim and continue to hang on. She remained hopeless for the hours she spent hanging on to the piece of debris.

At that moment I thought no one would find me, then I heard some shouting, ‘Come here!’… the sea was very rough, I didn’t know if I could do it.

Bahia Bakari

The volunteer sailor who first spotted Bahia, Libouna Selemani Matrafi, swam to close their distance as Bahia was too weary. Struggling with hypothermia, a fractured bone, and bruises around her body, Bahia was hospitalized. She was then released a month after her admittance to the hospital. (Source: Daily News)

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