Disasters & Accidents

China opens hearings on compensation for kin of missing flight MH370 passengers

Beijing, Nov 27 (EFE).- A Beijing court on Monday opened hearings for the Chinese relatives of passengers who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 when it disappeared in 2014, in order to determine if they can obtain compensation, among other things.

The hearing will discuss the lawsuit filed by relatives of more than 40 passengers against Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia International Airlines – the name of the airline after its restructuring in 2015, American manufacturer Boeing, Britain’s Rolls-Royce – manufacturer of aircraft engines, and the German insurer Allianz.

The hearings will take place until Dec. 6 at the People’s Court of Chaoyang District in Beijing, according to state media.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the families are believed to be seeking civil compensation of between 10 and 80 million yuan (between $1.4-$12 million), although because each family’s situation is different, the amounts also differ.

The channel also said that in addition to the family members of more than 40 passengers who filed the lawsuit in Beijing, the relatives of at least another 110 passengers have already reached settlements with the five defendants for payments ranging from 2.5-3 million yuan.

“Our main demands are, first of all, that the defendant will resume psychological assistance to the families of the missing on that flight as soon as possible and restore the liaison agency with the families; second (…) priority should be paying family members,” family representative Jiang Hui said, according to state news outlet Global Times, expressing his hope that the families get the support they deserve.

Jiang hoped that in the final judgment, those responsible will be required to apologize, set up a search fund, and find the missing MH370 aircraft and passengers.

According to Zhang Qihuai, a lawyer specializing in aviation cases and who legally represents the families and also spoke to state media, the situation is extremely complex because it has been almost 10 years since the flight vanished and it is still unclear who is responsible, why contact was lost, and in addition, the fact the plane has still not been found.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. EFE


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