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Lone Survivor of Comoros Crash Back With Family


The only known survivor of the airliner that crashed off Comoros this week has been reunited with her family in Paris.

Bahia Bakari, 14, returned to France on a government jet Thursday, and was met at the airport by her father and other relatives.

Bakari's father, Kassim, told reporters he is happy to see his daughter, but sad for his wife, who is among the 152 people who are missing and presumed dead.

Bakari suffered a broken collarbone in the crash. She clung to a piece of floating debris for some 12 hours until she was rescued.

The Yemenia Air flight went down in the Indian Ocean early Tuesday.

French and American ships are still searching for bodies and the plane's wreckage.

The cause of the crash remains unclear. Witnesses reported high winds in Comoros at the time of the crash, while French officials have said inspectors found a number of faults with the airplane during a 2007 inspection.

French and Yemeni officials said Wednesday that a signal from one of the so-called "black boxes" had been detected. But the French defense ministry now says that signal was from one of the plane's distress beacons.

Earlier this week, Bakari's father said his daughter reported hearing people talking after the crash, indicating that some other people initially survived.

Comorans in France angered by the crash tried to block passengers from boarding another Yemenia Air flight in Paris Wednesday. The flight eventually took off with only 60 of a scheduled 160 passengers on board.

Yemenia Air says it will give about $28,000 to each family that lost a loved one in Tuesday's crash. It calls the compensation preliminary.

The Comoros is made up of three islands about 300 kilometers northwest of Madagascar, in the Mozambique channel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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