Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Air India crash relatives push for compensation

Around 100 Indian community leaders and relatives of those killed in the Air India crash in Managalore met yesterday to put pressure on the airline to pay compensation.

DUBAI // Around 100 Indian community leaders and relatives of those killed in the Air India crash in Managalore met yesterday to put pressure on the airline to pay compensation.

They agreed to form a 12-person committee that will try to force the issue with senior government officials and the government-owned airline, which has been criticised for failing to settle compensation payments to familes who lost loved ones in the May crash in which 158 people died.

"It took five months for us to organise. This is a crime," said Shaukuth Ali Eroth, head of the All-Kerala College Alumni Fund, an umbrella group for 50 schools. "Today we decided not to commit it anymore."

On Wednesday, relatives had publicly complained that the airline was stonewalling them on compensation by throwing up numerous requests for documentation.

The May 22 flight from Dubai to Mangalore killed all but eight people on board when it overshot the runway, which sits on a plateau and crashed in the valley and burst into flames.

An official inquiry in India found that the pilot landed despite warnings from his co-pilot that "we don't have any runway left."

"We should fight as a group and get the best lawyer ... and the maximum compensation," said MG Pushpakaran, the head of the new committee and the Dubai representative of the Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, which is tied to India's ruling Congress Party.

"There are rules," he said. "They cannot run away from that responsibility."

Mr Pushpakaran pledged to tap his political network to arrange a meeting with the highest-level Indian authorities possible.

Other members will be able to tap extensive networks as well, such as the Indian Media Forum and the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre, whose membership in the UAE tops 30,000. An insurance claims expert and and two members living near Mangalore will also lend their weight.

Several speakers at the meeting also promised their support.

The victims' families, now backed by the committee, say they each deserve 7.6 million rupees (Dh630,000), the amount set by the Montreal Convention, an agreement on airline crash liability that has been signed by 97 countries, including India.

For now some relatives of the deceased have received offers of 3 million to 4.5 million rupees, said Rafeeq Eroth, president of the Malabar Pravasi Co-ordination Council, which has so far overseen the efforts to fight for compensation.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 An tenant in the Al Barsha area of Dubai has been sent a non-renewable contract by the landlord. Randi Sokoloff / The National

Dubai landlord refuses to pay back Rera fees after losing rent case

Keren Bobker helps a tenant who wants to know how to reclaim his RERA case fees and who has also been sent a contract with a “one-year nonrenewable” note.

 A Brabus Mercedes 6x6 Sports Utility Vehicle is readied for display during Auto China 2014 in Beijing, on April 20. Adrian Bradshaw / EPA

In pictures: Auto China 2014 exhibition

Leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for the kickoff of China’s biggest car show, but lacklustre growth and environmental restrictions in the world’s largest car market have thrown uncertainty into the mix. More than 1,100 vehicles are being showcased.

 A customer looks at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy.  Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP Photo

Nintendo’s Game Boy at 25: hand-held legacy lives on

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 A projectionist takes a break in the projection room at Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan. Going to the movies, once banned under the Taliban, has become a popular form of entertainment in Kabul, but women and children rarely take part. All photos by Photo by Jonathan Saruk / Reportage by Getty Images

Afghan cinema: Forbidden Reel

The lights go down and the projector whirls into action as Sher Mohammed, 35, begins his routine, bouncing back and forth between two projectors, winding reels, and adjusting the carbon arc lamps inside the projectors.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National