Mangalore air crash victims should get $145,000: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, May 31 (IANS) Victims of the Mangalore air tragedy should get at least $145,000 in compensation apart from the amount sanctioned by the state and central governments, Kerala’s Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy said Monday. At least 158 people died in the tragedy May 22 of which 49 were Malayalis.

‘According to the international aviation rules the compensation is $1.45 lakh. We will see that no dilution takes place in this and we are working with the centre on it,’ Chandy told reporters here.

He also added that the civil aviation ministry has announced Rs.10 lakh, Kerala government Rs.3 lakh and Rs.2 lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund as compensation for the families of those killed.

‘So the family of a victim would get Rs.15 lakh plus $1.45 lakh. We are now working to see that this reaches the victim’s family at the earliest. I personally visited the homes of more than 15 victims and all of them are in dire straits,’ added Chandy.

Commenting on reports that a few victims were travelling on forged passports, Chandy, a former chief minister, said it will have no bearing on the compensation to be paid.

‘We have found out that this compensation has no bearing on the status of the passport. It is given to those who die in an air crash,’ Chandy said.

The IX 812 Dubai-Mangalore flight overshot the runway while landing at the Bajpe airport, about 20 km from Mangalore, and caught fire after plunging about 300 meters off a cliff.