MALAPPURAM: Nearly six months after the biggest aircraft tragedy in Kerala history happened at the Kozhikode airport, survivors and kin of victims continue to await the final compensation. While the crash took the lives of 19 passengers and two pilots, 165 of the 184 passengers suffered injuries. Most of the survivors are under treatment at various hospitals.
Attempting to bring life back to normal, the survivors have initiated efforts to claim the final compensation from Air India Express — the operator of the crashed flight. Though the process of distributing interim compensation has been completed smoothly, the final compensation package offered and its disbursement process have not gone down well with the survivors and the kin of victims. Expressing displeasure at the compensation fixed by the airline, some of them told TNIE that they would move court to get a better compensation.
A High Court order directing the airline to pay `1.51 crore as compensation to a two-and-a-half-year-old girl has emboldened the survivors to choose the litigation path. However, the airline is dealing with the distribution of final compensation very carefully to stay clear of controversies. It is also learnt that the company has made a contract with the survivors asking them not to share details, including the amount, with the media.
Nihmathulla Abdul Majeed, a resident of Chemmad in Malappuram, said, to get a decent compensation, he is prepared to take the legal recourse. “I sustained a severe injury to my left shoulder. I have to continue with physiotherapy for at least a year to get back the normal movement of my hand,” he said.
Regarding compensation, the airline has adopted a biased approach, he said. “We are under pressure to agree to any compensation fixed by the airline,” he said. Majeed wants the state government to intervene to protect the rights of the victims and survivors.
Latheesh Omassery, a 30-year-old who sustained injuries, said he too is planning to move the court. “The airline authorities are not showing the patience to hear my arguments for a decent compensation,” he said. Vijayamohan Malaparambu, 69, another survivor, said he is not interested in a legal flight with the airline.
“I’ve received `12,43,640 as final compensation. I’m satisfied with the amount. My wife will get a better compensation because she sustained severe injuries in the accident. Earlier, the airline paid for our hospital expenses,” he said.