Bahia Bakari, Teen Survivor of 2009 Crash, Turned Down Steven Spielberg - AOL News

(May 12) -- French teenager Bahia Bakari, who at 13 was the only survivor of last summer's Indian Ocean plane crash, wrote a memoir of her harrowing experience but reportedly turned down Steven Spielberg, who wanted to do a film about her.

Bahia has remained mostly out of the public eye in recent months, as she's tried to rebuild a normal life as a schoolgirl in Corbeil-Essonnes, a suburb of Paris.

Attention was drawn to her this week with the crash of a Libyan jetliner in which a young Dutch boy was the only survivor.

Her memoir, "Moi Bahia, la miraculee," details the incredible 13 hours she spent in rough, shark-infested seas, clinging to pieces of airline wreckage after Yemenia Flight 626 crashed en route to Comoros on June 30.

The book, which was published in French in January, was written with the help of a ghostwriter. It remains the only in-depth account that Bahia, who is of Comoran origin, has given of her ordeal.

In the book, Bahia says she was confused about what really had happened until after she was rescued by a fisherman in a small boat who jumped into the sea to save her.

She thought she'd fallen out of the plane by pressing her head too hard against the window -- and that her mother would be mad at her for not wearing her seat belt.

In fact, Bahia's mother, Aziza, with whom she was traveling on a trip from Paris to the family homeland, was one of the 152 passengers killed in the crash.

Bahia became world famous for surviving the crash, but when Spielberg wanted to make a film based on her book, she turned him down, she said.

"It would be too terrifying," she told Europe 1, adding, "Nobody could act out the pain I felt in those moments."

Bahia spent three weeks recuperating in a Paris hospital, where one of her first visitors was French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She had relatively minor injuries, a broken collarbone, bruises, cuts and burns.

Bahia says in her book that the other students did not know how to deal with her when she returned to school. She reportedly received psychological counseling for a time.

"My classmates whispered about me in the hallways," she said. "They didn't dare approach me."

She said the worst part of her ordeal was believing her mother was still alive and being told in the hospital that she had died.

Bahia now lives with her father and several siblings.

There is little scientific explanation for why people like Bahia and Ruben van Ashout, the 8-year-old Dutch boy who was the sole survivor of the plane crash in Libya, could survive such an accident.

A Popular Mechanics article reported that surviving a plunge surrounded by a "semiprotective cocoon of debris" is more likely than surviving a pure free fall. It also said smaller people, like children, are sometimes more likely to survive.