Heirs of victims of Egyptair plane crash to receive compensation

The legal heirs of the victims of the Egyptair flight that plunged into the Mediterranean Sea last month will receive an initial compensation of 25,000 dollars, an official said Monday.

"It has been agreed with insurance companies to pay the heirs of those who died in the accident 25,000 dollars as a temporary compensation until a settlement is reached to offer them the total value," Head of Egyptair Safwat Mussalem said.

"Death certificates of the victims of the accident will be issued by the [Egyptian] Cabinet within the coming 48 hours," he said, adding that all victims’ heirs will receive the compensation including those of the flight crew members.

Egyptair flight MS804 was en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19 when it crashed into the Mediterranean, some 290 kilometres north of the Egyptian coast, killing all 66 people on board.

The Airbus A320 veered to the left and then spun around rightwards in the last minutes before it crashed, according to Greek and Egyptian officials. No distress call was received.

Earlier Monday, sources at the Egypt-led investigative committee said they should know within hours if they can salvage any information from the flight’s two black boxes.

The two data recorders were recovered last week. But investigators said Sunday that both had sustained heavy damage.

Once the repair work is done, it will be determined if the data from the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder can be easily downloaded, the sources said.

According to the sources, experts from France and the US took part in repairing the damage in cooperation with a special unit at the Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry, which specializes in aviation accidents.

Last month, Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy said that a terrorist act appeared a more likely cause than mechanical failure.

The crash came almost six months after a Russian passenger jet broke up midair shortly after take-off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

Russian authorities said that the incident was caused by a bomb. The Islamic State extremist group, which operates in Sinai, claimed responsibility and published a photo of a soft drink can that it said had been filled with explosives and smuggled onto the flight.

Last update: Mon, 20/06/2016 - 14:57

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