Plane crash victims families may get $1.7m claims


October 26, 2005/Source BusinessDay (Photo Courtesy BBC Africa)


The insurers of the Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 plane which crashed in Lissa, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State are to cough out over $1.7 million (N160.29 million) to compensate the 117 people who died in the plane.

Family of each victim is to collect $10,000 (about N1.3 million) from the insurers.

Babalola Borishade, aviation minister, disclosed yesterday that the aircraft was insured with Llyods of London.

After preliminary investigations, Borishade said that families of the bereaved would be duly compensated.

However, the families of the victims are to be compensated in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard.

The ICAO standard is that an insurance cover of not less than $10,000 is paid per passenger.

However, all domestic tickets are still issued subject to Warsaw Convention 1929 rules which means that passengers would be paid $10,000. BUSINESSDAY gathered that any of the passengers that died in the crash and had obtained his or her ticket from outside the country was covered by the ICAO Convention of 1999.

The compensation of $10,000, according to insurance experts, is grossly inadequate as if the value of human life in Europe is higher than that in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the airline has started receiving family members of victims of the unfortunate accident.

According to Habib Muhammed, Corporate Affairs Executive, Bellview Airlines, the airline is collating data on victims\' next-of-kin.

\"We are hoping that right now, the recovery process is going on. Professionals are there. They will dig up what they can. We all know that the aircraft dug itself into the ground. A good part of it is in the ground. So, we are hoping that at the end of today, they can report some progress,\" he said.

Muhammed said the airline was making sure that those who would want to come from Abuja would have tickets. \"We would arrange flights for them and even if they want to go on any other airline of their choice, we will offer them tickets.

\"But if we have reason to invite them tomorrow, and if in case they couldn\'t finish what they have to do and they have to stay over, we are also arranging hotel accommodation for them, so that they come and go back without adding to the trauma of this unfortunate incident,\" he said.

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