A Libyan Airbus crashed as it tried to land at Tripoli airport early on Wednesday, killing 103 passengers and crew aboard, but a Dutch boy survived, officials said.

Libya's Afriqiyah Airways said it operated the plane, which was flying from Johannesburg in South Africa to Tripoli.

Planemaker Airbus said the jet was an A330-200 and that the company would help authorities with their investigation.

“All of the passengers and crew died except for one child,” a Libyan security source told Reuters at Tripoli airport. “There were 93 passengers and 11 crew on board.”

The Dutch motorists association ANWB said 61 Dutch people were killed in the crash and that the survivor was a boy.

Libya's Transport Minister Mohamed Zidan said the sole survivor was a 10-year-old Dutch child. “The child is in good condition and is in hospital undergoing checks,” the minister told a news conference at the airport.

The minister also said an investigation would be launched to establish the cause of the crash but he ruled out a terrorist attack.

A Reuters reporter at the airport was not able to see the crash site but said ambulances could be seen ferrying bodies of the victims to hospital mortuaries. Libyan officials said they had recovered dozens of bodies.

“The plane crash landed short of the runway. For now we do not have any further details,” an Afriqiyah official who identified himself as the manager of its legal department told Reuters by telephone.

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Africans, Europeans among dead

The casualties included 22 Libyans, half of them members of the crew, and the rest were of various nationalities, officials said. They said they did not have any more details, except that there were Africans and Europeans among the dead.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said several dozen Dutch passengers were on board. He did not have an exact number.

In a statement posted on its website, Afriqiyah Airways said its flight 8U771 had an accident during landing at Tripoli International airport. An airport official said the plane crashed at 6:10 am local time.

An executive with the airline told the news conference that it would be setting up an information centre at a Tripoli hotel to handle inquiries about the victims.

The airline also posted a telephone number on its Internet site for anyone seeking information about passengers.

“We are very sorry to announce the tragic loss of Afriqiyah airways flight 8U771 from Johannesburg in an accident during landing at Tripoli international airport,” the airline said in its statement.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims,” it said.

Airbus issued a statement confirming it had manufactured the plane involved in the crash.

“Airbus will provide full technical assistance to the authorities responsible for the investigation into the accident,” it said.