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Air India announces additional compensation for victims

india Updated: May 23, 2010 19:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mangalore

Arvind Jadhav, the chief of Air India, today said that the airline along with an insurance company, will provide compensation "over and above" the Prime Minister's relief to the victims of the plane crash in Mangalore.

"Air India's compensation is based on International Land of Carriage rules, according to which is a person dies, then he or she is entitled to compensation," said Jadhav at a press conference in Mangalore.

Air India will provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victims who were above 12 years of age, Rs 5 lakh to those below 12 years of age, and Rs 2 lakh to those who were injured in Saturday's plane crash, Jadhav, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's on Saturday announced that the government will give Rs 2 lakh to the passengers who were killed in the crash and Rs 50,000 to those who were injured.

So far 128 bodies have been identified and post mortem has been done, 12 bodies are yet to be identified and 18 other bodies have been identified but no post mortem has been done, Jadhav said.

A Special Assistance Team of Air India has been in Mangalore for the last 48 hours and is interacting with the relatives of the deceased, Jadhav said. Their mandate is "to take care of survivors and families of those who've lost their near and dear ones."

One aircraft has been kept on standby for the families of survivors so that they can travel to Mangalore, Jadhav announced. In addition, 270 volunteers from Emergency Response Team were acting as "counsellors" for the families, he said.

He commended the fast response of local villagers, without whose help the eight survivors may not have survived. The state adminstration also responded very quickly, Jadhav said but added that "more cooperation of district level adminstration was required to hand over bodies."

He added that though AI employees had "come forward to give assistance", the cabin crew was still "traumatised (and)...being counselled in Mangalore, Delhi and Cochin."

"Both pilot and co-pilot were well rested," Jadhav added.

"Captain Ahluwalia, the co-pilot was about to get his commander-ship and had made 19 landings here (in Mangalore)." They were both "qualified pilots," he said.

To questions about investigations into the crash, Jadhav said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was carrying out the investigations and pointed out "the black box has not been found."

He also said that an international emergency team from the US is due to arrive in Mangalore to help with the investigations, Jadhav said.

He cautioned the media to maintain restraint and not speculate.

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