Jul 03, 2013 News Comments Off on Sparendaam plane crash… Cabinet ‘approves’ compensation for affected residents
– Woman wants company to pay costs
Cabinet has approved compensation for residents whose properties were destroyed or severely affected when an American-registered aircraft crashed at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara on April 13, last. But, Florence Tyndall, whose house was completely destroyed during the ordeal, is not accepting Government’s offer.
According to a government official, Tyndall has hired a lawyer and wants the company that hired the aircraft to finance the reconstruction of her house.
In April, the two-man crew on board the twin-engine Piper Aztec, with registration N27-F, was on a technical survey mission for the Amaila Falls Hydropower project. Apparently, Sithe Global, responsible for managing the construction of the project, subcontracted Digital World Mapping, to conduct surveys.
The aircraft reportedly had mechanical problems and crashed just after taking off from Ogle International Airport. Tyndall’s residence was destroyed and a section of her neighbour Michelle Belle’s house was scorched. Another neighbour’s fence and water lines were destroyed. Tyndall escaped unharmed but the aircraft’s owner and pilot Pierre Angiel and his passenger, Canadian Scientist Nick Dmitriev, perished.
According to Zulficar Mohamed, Director General of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), a team from Sithe Global is expected in Guyana this week to discuss liabilities and insurance issues.
Brian Kubeck of Amaila Falls Hydro Inc., said the company met with the Ministry of Public Works and GCAA on May 16 and provided a full briefing of the measures being taken to investigate the incident and to assist those affected by the tragedy.
“Because of the delay in settling the insurance claims, Amaila Falls Hydro has agreed to assist Atlis in establishing a fund to provide resources to the affected homeowners so they can rebuild their homes as soon as possible,” Kubeck said.
According to the aforementioned government official, the three affected parties had agreed to accept compensation from the administration, but it seems that Tyndall was advised otherwise. In fact, Cabinet had already approved amounts and contractors to execute the works.
Responding to queries about the aircraft’s insurance, the government official said, “Insurance is not being discussed and as far as I am concerned insurance is a moot matter”.
Information surrounding the aircraft’s insurance company has always been sketchy. Weeks after the crash the insurance company was unknown. And, only in late May, GCAA’s Director General, while not divulging the precise nature of the discussions, confirmed that the insurance company had been identified.
Though the insurance company was later identified, many in the aviation sector were wondering why it took the regulatory body so long to locate the insurer when foreign aircraft entering Guyana are required to present pertinent documents, including insurance, to the GCAA.
In fact, members of the local Aircraft Owners’ Association had written to President Donald Ramotar on events surrounding the plane crash. The Association expressed concerns that the aircraft entered Guyana without proper due diligence being carried out by the GCAA. The letter pointed out that the Authority should not be the body conducting the investigations since they are the subject of investigation. And the regulations provide for the President to direct the investigations.
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