Results of PMT Air Crash Probe Inconclusive

The investigation into the June 2007 PMT Air plane crash in Kampot province, which left 22 people dead, was completed in March, but the results are inconclusive, the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation said Monday.

Almost one year after the plane crash, families of the Cambodian victims said Monday they still have not been fully compensated by PMT for the loss of their loved ones.

Kao Sivoeun, director of flight op­erations for the SSCA, said the in­vestigation of the plane’s flight re­corders, or black boxes, was concluded in March, but it is still un­clear what caused the crash.

“The report didn’t show if [PMT] was wrong or if the pilot was wrong,” Kao Sivoeun said, but de­clined to reveal what information was retrieved from the flight data recorders.

PMT’s flight U4 241 crashed while flying from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville on June 25. Three days after the crash, PMT Air gave the five Cambodian victims’ families $1,000 each toward funeral expenses and promised that compensation from its insurer would be forthcoming.

However, Chan Seth, widow of 43-year-old flight engineer Hean Chandara, said Monday she still has not received compensation from the unnamed insurance company.

“I have completed the documents for [PMT] for the insurance company a long time ago, but they did not tell me anything,” she said.

Eang Sophoan, widow of 46-year-old co-pilot Uth Chandara, said she also has not been compensated.

“I demand that PMT company take responsibility for the insurance in this case,” the mother of two said, adding that her family is struggling to make ends meet without her husband’s income.

PMT Air Director Sar Sareth said Monday that it was up to the flight’s insurance company and not PMT to deal with the victims’ families.

“PMT is responsible for the flight, but when we have an accident it must be the insurance that pays compensation for the victim,” he said.

Sar Sareth declined to name the insurance company.

He also said the downed plane was owned by a Russian owner and referred further questions about the crash to the PMT official handling the case, who he would only identify as Stephanov.

Details about the insurer and the plane’s owner should be provided by the SSCA, he said.

Mao Havannal, SSCA secretary of state, declined to provide details about the plane’s owner, the insurance company or what investigators discovered from examining the black boxes.

However, he did say lawyers representing the families of the 13 South Koreans who died in the crash came in March to collect the final investigation report and to meet with the SSCA and PMT about compensation.

Mao Havannal referred further questions to PMT.

“PMT is responsible for this case,” he added.

A diplomat with the South Kor­ean embassy in Phnom Penh de­clined to comment on the crash.

 

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