Family of Nepal plane crash brothers to seek compensation
LAWYERS representing the Bolton brothers killed in a Nepal plane crash will lodge papers with the High Court over compensation for the bereaved families.
Vincent and Darren Kelly were sitting across the aisle from each other on the Sita Air flight which crashed just 80 seconds after taking off from Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu, in September 2012.
They had been on a trip to Everest base camp organised by Explore Worldwide Ltd.
The pair died instantly, along with 14 other passengers and three crew members.
Following an inquest at Warrington Coroners Court on Tuesday, the seven tourists from Britain were all found to have died as a result of an accident.
But the legal team representing the families of five of the British people killed said the victims would still be alive today if more had been done to warn passengers of the dangers of flights in Nepal.
Jim Morris, a former RAF pilot and partner in Irwin Mitchell’s aviation law team, said: “Our clients have suffered terribly following this tragedy and this inquest has been a very emotional experience for them.
“The basic facts speak for themselves. Prior to the tragedy, from 2000 to 2012, there were 14 air crashes in Nepal that caused more than 150 deaths and this tragedy was the sixth fatal plane crash in the country across a two-year period.
“Clearly Nepal domestic flights had a dreadful safety record prior to the Sita crash and following on from this inquest, our families clearly believe that more should have been done in advance to warn of the dangers of internal flights in Nepal.
“Had this been done, it is likely that a number of the British passengers may not have purchased the holiday package and would still be alive today.”
Four more air crashes have taken place in Nepal since the tragedy in 2012. One incident killed all 18 people onboard.
Mr Morris said the victims and public need to see steps are being taken to improve flight safety.
The European Union has blacklisted Nepalese flights due to safety fears.
He said the travel firm Explore Worldwide Ltd had admitted liability but that an agreement was yet to be reached over pay-outs.
Mr Morris said: “We hope to negotiate without the need for a trial but we will be issuing proceedings in the High Court on the issue of the quantum of the claims as part of the on-going litigation and negotiation process.”
The cause of the crash remains unknown but a series of factors are thought to have contributed to the incident, the inquest heard.
These included the 24-year-old co-pilot telling the pilot the plane was at the correct take-off speed when it was not, overloaded cargo and the fuel flow setting being too low.
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