Lion Air promises to give IDR1.3 billion compensation money to families of all JT-610 victims despite 64 remaining unidentified

Debris recovered from the crashed Lion Air flight JT-610. Photo: Twitter / National Search and Rescue Agency (@SAR_NASIONAL)
Debris recovered from the crashed Lion Air flight JT-610. Photo: Twitter / National Search and Rescue Agency (@SAR_NASIONAL)

Indonesian authorities officially ended the identification process of Lion Air JT-610 crash victims last Friday, even though officials were only able to identify the remains of 125 of the 189 people on board. But the budget airline has pledged to give compensation money to all of the victims’ beneficiaries regardless.

Speaking to the media today, Lion Air Managing Director Daniel Putut gave assurances that insurance beneficiaries of all 189 victims will receive IDR1.3 billion (US$90,000) from the airline.

“We can assure that [beneficiaries] of the victims who have not been identified will receive what is rightfully theirs,” Daniel said, as quoted by Kompas.

Daniel added that the compensation money, which adds up to IDR245 billion in total, will be given to the beneficiaries tomorrow.

The identification process went on for 24 days following the crash of JT-610 on Oct 29, during which time all of the human remain recovered from the crash site were examined at the National Police Hospital in East Jakarta, leading to the identification of all but 64 of the people onboard the doomed flight.  

However, should rescuers find more body parts from the crash site in the future, the police said they would also be examined in the hopes of identifying more of the victims.

Lion Air says it’s also assisting the families of the 64 unidentified victims with bureaucratic arrangements at the civil registry, particularly the issuance of their death certificates.

Of the 125 victims who were positively identified, 89 were men and 36 were women. Among them were two foreigners, an Italian and an Indian national, the latter of whom was the flight’s captain.

A formal preliminary report on what might have caused the crash is due Wednesday.

So far, investigators have said the doomed plane — a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet — had problems with its air-speed indicator and angle of attack (AOA) sensors prompting Boeing to issue a special bulletin directing operators what to do when they face the same situation.

An AOA sensor provides data about the angle at which wind is passing over the wings and tells pilots how much lift a plane is getting. The information can be critical in preventing the plane from stalling.

Last week, a US airline pilots union, the APA, said that companies and pilots had not been informed by Boeing of certain changes in the aircraft control system.

While Boeing has come under fire for possible glitches in its newest 737 model — released just last year — the accident has also resurrected concerns about Indonesia’s poor air safety record, which until recently saw its carriers facing years-long bans from entering European Union and US airspace.

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