Kozhikode plane crash | Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives|Satheesh Kumar KB
New Delhi: The government on Thursday said the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau's probe into the Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode international airport in Karipur last year is likely to be completed this month.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said final compensation offers have been made to all the next of kin of the deceased passengers but none of the "next of kin has sent their acceptance as of date".
"Final compensation offers have been made to all the 165 injured passengers, out of which 73 passengers accepted the offer and have been paid a total amount of Rs 60.35 crore as the final settlement as of date," the minister said.
According to Singh, the airline is awaiting acceptance offers from 92 injured passengers and next of kin of 19 deceased passengers.
"25 injured passengers and next of kin of 18 deceased passengers have engaged a UAE-based law firm to represent them directly before reinsurers. 18 injured passengers in this category have engaged a US-based law firm to directly represent them before reinsurers," he noted.
On August 7, 2020, a Boeing 737 plane operated by Air India Express and coming from Dubai overshot the runway at Kozhikode airport in Kerala and later broke into pieces. There were 190 people onboard the ill-fated aircraft and at least 21 people, including the two pilots, were killed and several others were injured.
The investigation by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) "is in progress and is likely to be completed by August 2021", Singh said while replying to queries by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
According to the minister, an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh each was paid to the next of kin of 15 deceased passengers who were above the age of 12 years. A total amount of Rs 1.5 crore has been disbursed in this regard.
"Interim compensation at the rate of Rs 5 lakh was paid to the next of kin of 4 deceased passengers who were below the age of 12. A total of Rs 20 lakh has been disbursed under this category," Singh said.
Further, an interim compensation of Rs 2 lakh was paid to 92 passengers each who were assessed as grievously injured at the time of admission by the treating doctors. In this regard, a total amount of Rs 1.84 crore has been disbursed.
The minister said that an interim compensation of Rs 50,000 was paid to each of the 73 passengers who suffered minor injuries and the amount totalled Rs 36.50 lakh.
To another question, Singh said operations of wide-body aircraft from Kozhikode airport is subject to the outcome of the AAIB report.
Commercial operations of wide-body aircraft from the airport was temporarily suspended due to the Air India Express plane crash last August and the prevailing adverse weather conditions, he added.