Widow to sue aviation body over crash payout

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 March, 2005, 12:00am


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The widow of a passenger who was among 55 people killed when a plane crashed into a frozen lake in Inner Mongolia is trying to sue the aviation authority.

Chen Suyang's widow has submitted an application to take the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China to court, but it is not known whether the case will be accepted.

The application claims the authority committed administrative malfeasance as it had not revised its casualty compensation regulations for more than a decade.

The China Eastern Airlines plane carrying Chen burst into flames less than a minute after taking off from Baotou airport on November 21.

In addition to the death of the 47 passengers and six crew members, two people were killed on the ground by falling debris.

The lawyer for Chen's family said: 'It's been 12 years since the compensation amount was stipulated. During that time, the average salary of urban Chinese employees has risen nearly five-fold and the civil aviation's annual revenue has surged six-fold ... but the compensation hasn't changed.'

A total of 70,000 yuan is offered under present regulations, but taking inflation into account, the carrier said it would pay each family 140,000 yuan, plus 71,000 yuan for funerals and loss of luggage.

'Chen did not get insurance to cover any accidents that might have occurred during the flight,' the lawyer told the Shanghai Morning Post.

'So it means all they can get is the 211,000 yuan - but that's only several months of his salary.'

Chen was the general manager of the Shanghai-based Fudan Forward Science and Technology Co.

The 1996 Civil Aviation Law says the civil aviation authority is responsible for setting compensation.