x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Jet crash families get compensation

Air France will hand over a ?17,000 advance to the families of victims of the Air France Flight 447.

Members of a Brazilian Navy ship pick up a piece of  debris from the Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic ocean, on June 17 2009.
Members of a Brazilian Navy ship pick up a piece of debris from the Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic ocean, on June 17 2009.

PARIS // Air France will hand over a ?17,000 (Dh88,152) advance to the families of victims of the Air France Flight 447, which crashed en route to Paris from Rio de Janeiro, the company's chief executive has said. Air France lawyers are contacting the families of the 228 victims from 32 countries to make sure the money gets to them, Phillipe Gourgeon said in an interview broadcast on RTL radio today. Air France is also looking into holding a memorial for all the victims of the May 31 crash, Mr Gourgeon said. Some families of French victims have accused Air France of a lack of sympathy and of failing to provide them with timely information on the investigation into the causes of the crash. "We are going to be very focused on the first advance of about ?17,000 that is paid for each victim," Gourgeon said. He added that there were no strings attached to accepting the advance. Contacting the families is no easy matter, Mr Gourgeon said. Sometimes the only contact number for a victim is from a mobile phone that was lost in the crash. He said the essential objective now was to find the aircraft's black box flight recorders. The cause of the crash has not been determined, and the flight recorders could provide the key information the investigators need.

Mr Gourgeon also said that difficulties that have emerged in the exchange of information between representatives of France's air accident investigation agency, BEA and Brazilian medical authorities conducting autopsies on the recovered bodies were being resolved. Yesterday, the president of France's Senate also had said he was sure that friction between experts from his country and Brazil would soon be resolved and had assured families of victims they would be indemnified.

* AP