Around Asia: Asiana to pay out to San Francisco fliers


Asiana Airlines said it was offering an initial compensation payment of $10,000 to each of the survivors aboard the ill-fated plane that crashed in San Francisco last month.

The South Korean carrier on Sunday said the compensation would cover medical costs and other needs of the 288 surviving passengers, “regardless of whether they were injured or not.”

The amount of total compensation would be decided after the US National Transportation Safety Board concludes its investigation into the fatal crash, a spokeswoman for Asiana told AFP.

The survivors “need money to go to hospital or for transportation so we are giving them the $10,000 first,” Lee Hyo Min said in a telephone interview.

The initial payout would be deducted from the overall compensation once agreed upon, Lee added.

The compensation offer is not a settlement and will not affect ongoing or future lawsuits filed by passengers against the carrier.

The airline, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, is facing a horde of legal battles after the July 6 crash, which killed three people and injured some 180 passengers, most of whom were Chinese, including students.

The Boeing 777 passenger jet from Shanghai via Seoul caught fire after its tail clipped a seawall and crash landed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport.

The cause of the crash is yet to be determined and investigations could take more than a year, according to Lee.

Aviation authorities were looking into possible pilot error that triggered the accident, Asiana’s worst since 1993, when a Boeing 737 crashed in Mokpo, south of Seoul, killing 66 people.

by Maesie Bertumen

Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr



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