Aviation minister announces Rs1 million compensation for those killed in plane crash

Updated May 23, 2020

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Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has assured the nation that a "fair" inquiry will be conducted into the cause of the PIA plane crash. — DawnNewsTV
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has assured the nation that a "fair" inquiry will be conducted into the cause of the PIA plane crash. — DawnNewsTV

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Saturday announced compensation for the families of those who were killed in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash a day earlier.

The PIA plane — Airbus A-320, carrying an estimated 99 people on board, crashed into a residential area near Karachi airport on Friday, resulting in 97 casualties.

Speaking to the media in Karachi, the minister said families of those who were killed would receive Rs1 million each while the two survivors would be given Rs500,000 each.

The minister also announced that the government would offer compensation to the residents of the area whose houses and cars have been affected. "A lot of damage has been done. We have directed that an initial survey be carried out and the government will pay for the damages after the assessment has been done."

Khan said that the government's first priority was to hand over the bodies of the victims to their families after identification. He expressed grief over the tragic incident and offered condolences to the families of those who died.

He paid tribute to the "spirit of the people of Karachi", who he said had participated keenly in the rescue work. He also paid tribute to the pilot, saying that video footage showed he had "tried his best to reach the runway but when he saw it was impossible, he diverted the craft to an area where there would be minimum damage".

Counter-inquiry to be done by Airbus

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Khan said the Airbus company would conduct a counter-inquiry into the cause of the crash.

He assured the people that the government's inquiry would be "fair" and added that full efforts would be made to present the report to the nation and the Parliament "as soon as possible".

"Four experienced members of the Pakistan Air Force are part of the committee. They will make full efforts to present the facts."

The minister said the government would take "100 per cent" responsibility for any negligence that led to the crash. "Whoever is responsible, they will be made to resign."

Responding to a question, he added: "If the report says the PIA CEO showed negligence, he will resign. If it says we have shown negligence, then not only will we resign but also present ourselves for accountability."