The Management of Dana Air yesterday said that it had so far made contact with 103 families out of the 112 who were involved in its plane accident of Sunday, June 3, 2012 at the Iju-Ishaga Area of Lagos.
Also, the airline revealed that it has successfully collected 98 per cent of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples from families of victims, which has since been dispatched to the United Kingdom laboratory for testing.
The airline further stated that it had made contact with the six embassies whose nationals were involved in the crash.
A statement by the airline’s managing director, Mr. Jacky Hathiramani denied reports that as at the time of the crash, theairline did not have the requisite insurance cover, maintaining that its insurance premium payments were fully up to date with policy payments.
He mentioned the airline’s insurers as Prestige Assurance Plc ( lead underwriter) in Nigeria while Lloyds of London is its lead insurance company abroad, adding that the crashed MD83 aircraft had two levels of cover, $4.5m for the value of the plane and $350m for third party liabilities.
Hathiramani also denied that the airline was operating a free seating policy at the time of the accident and that this might hinder the investigation being carried out by the Accident Investigation Bureau.
He explained that the company had halted its free seating policy since August 2011, stressing that except on very rare occasions where flights were combined; Dana Air has since operated an allocated seating system, which was the case with flight 9J-992 of Sunday, June 3, 2012.
He said that the airline was fully cooperating with the investigating authorities on the probable cause of the accident.
“On identification and release of bodies to the families, Dana Air continues to engage with the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to ensure that the process is expedited so that families can lay their loved ones to rest. As per last update on Friday, 22nd June, 98 per cent of DNA samples had been successfully collected and dispatched to a UK laboratory for testing while the remainder will be sent today,” he said.
“The company has now made direct contact with 103 of the 112 families who lost loved ones in the accident and have also madecontact with the six embassies managing communications with the families of those victims from other countries. These families and embassies have been sent letters of condolence and the insurance documentation necessary in order to facilitate compensation payments.
“As of the close of business on Friday June 22nd the company had received completed insurance forms for 23 of the victims, two of which are our staff members. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority guidelines require that, where possible, initial compensation payments be made within 30 days of the accident taking place.”