RELATIVES of 32 victims who died in an air crash in 2004 in Baotou, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, demanded 132 million yuan (US$21 million) in compensation in a court hearing in Beijing yesterday.
The 50-seat plane crashed in a frozen lake in Baotou on November 21, 2004 just a few seconds after take-off, killing all 47 passengers and six crew and two people on the ground. The Canadian-made Bombardier CRJ-200 was heading for Shanghai.
China Eastern Airlines, which operates the flight, agreed to pay each victim family 211,000 yuan in compensation, but 32 families were dissatisfied and sued the carrier to Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, demanding 4.136 million yuan for each killed victim, Xiaoxiang Morning Post reported today.
Bombardier manufacturer in Canada and General Electric in the United States which supplied the plane's turbojet engines are also involved in the lawsuit.
The families also demanded a formal report of the investigation into the causes of the tragedy. The State Administration of Work Safety said earlier that the air crew may have forgotten to defrost the wings when the plane parked in the airport in the cold night, causing it to lose control during flight.
Authorities have punished 12 people held responsible for the accident, including the CEO of China Eastern Airlines.