Surgeon: Mary is in Stable Condition

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By Shady Janzeir 


A Syrian child who suffered major injuries during a foiled hijack attempt of the Amman-Damascus regular Royal Jordanian flight on Wednesday night is now in stable condition and under observation after surgery at Al-Bashir public hospital in Amman, according to one of the two physicians who performed the surgery. 

Dr. Ma’an Khasawneh told Albawaba two-year-old Mary Elyas had suffered injuries to her spleen, large bowel and small bowel, which made it dangerous to move her to the King Hussein Medical Center (KHMC) along with the rest of the injured passengers. 

“These injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion, which had caused an internal bleeding in these organs, requiring immediate surgical intervention,” the surgeon said. 

Mary, one of fifteen passengers injured, is the only one to remain at Al-Bashir hospital where passengers were first brought in for emergency care. 

“She is in good and stable condition now,” said the doctor adding that her mother who was accompanying her on the flight was still receiving treatment at the KHMC. 

The sole hijacker, Mahmoud Rizek Deeb, was shot dead by security officials during his attempt to hijack the plane. According to Jordanian Minister of Information Taleb Rifai, the Syrian national may have attempted to alter the route of the plane to Germany after he was refused entry to the European country where he used to work as an auto mechanic. 

The KHMC, a military medical facility known for its advanced technical services, is one of the largest medical facilities in the Middle East and is equipped to deal with large numbers of casualties in emergencies. 

Royal Jordanian is considered to be one of the safest airlines in the world, with only three fatal accidents to its record since 1973. 

On January 22, 1973, RJ 707-300 caught fire after its landing gear collapsed, killing 170 of the 198 passengers onboard and 6 out of 11 crewmembers. 

On August 3, 1975, another RJ707-300 flew into high ground near Agadir, Morocco, killing all 7 crewmembers and 181 passengers onboard. 

Finally, on March 13, 1979, RJ727-200 crashed after landing in the midst of a thunderstorm near Doha Airport, Qatar, killing 3 of its 15 crewmembers and 42 out of the 49 passengers -- 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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