Mangalore, May 23: Air India on Sunday announced an interim compensation for the victims of the air crash, including Rs ten lakh for the family of those above 12 years of age, even as it handed over 128 bodies to the kin of the victims.
Addressing a press conference in Mangalore a day after the tragedy that claimed 158 lives, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav said they were in talks with insurance companies, including Reliance Insurance and General Insurance Company, on payment of compensation.
"We are announcing an interim compensation. We will give them money immediately," he said.
Rs 10 lakh will be given to the kin of the deceased who are above 12 years of age and Rs five lakh to the family of those below. For the injured, the Air India will pay Rs two lakh as interim compensation.
"This is over and above the compensation announced by the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and the state government," Jadhav said.
He said 128 bodies have been identified and handed over to relatives.
"Eighteen more bodies have been identified and the post mortem are in progress. Twelve bodies have not been identified as yet," Jadhav said.
On questions about recovery of the black box (flight data recorder) and the cockpit voice recorder, he said as per his information, the black box has not been recovered.
Urging people and media not to speculate on the reasons for the crash, Jadhav said speculations would harm the interests of the victims.
"It was an international flight. It has international ramifications. Speculations will will hurt the interests of the passengers," Jadhav said.
Jadhav said the operations of Air India has been normal to the extent of 90 per cent. "Only 12 per cent of the operations have been affected. On Air India Express, the 90 per cent of the operations were on," he said.
He also said counselling for cabin crew in various cities, including New Delhi, Kochi and Mangalore as they were in a "state of trauma" after the incident.
"We are overwhelmed by the kind of response of the local villagers who reached the spot and helped in rescue operations. Without them, the eight persons could not have survived," Jadhav said.