Thursday, July 04, 2013

Plane crash victims block road, call for government compensation

Residents hung a banner in the center of their neighborhood, asking President Hadi to make good on his promise of financial compensation.

SANA’A, July 4 — Government compensation is not coming soon enough for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by a military plane which came crashing to the ground in Sana’a in February, killing 15 and injuring 16.

This past week, residents of the Al-Zira’a neighborhood—where the plane smashed into a number of buildings—staged a protest, setting up tents, blocking a main road and hanging a banner, detailing their grievances.

Days after the crash, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi promised that compensation would be paid out by the state.

Yemen—and Sana’a in particular—has seen a series of plane crashes in past years. Military planes, many training over the skies of the capital, have experienced technical errors, official sources said.

 The Yemeni Air Forces revealed that Yemen lost 28 military planes in the past eight years in addition to 18 pilots and pilot assistants. Twenty-three trainers and technicians lost their lives as well.

The Aba’d Research and Studies Center records that Yemen has 156 military planes, stationed in six military bases across the country.

Mujahid Al-Khalidi, Maeen district director, told the Yemen Times that the families of those killed in February’s crash were given YR500,0000 ($2,324) as a compensation; the injured were given YR200,000, or $930. The families whose houses were damaged have been given a monthly residence allowance of YR50,000, around $233.

Five owners of the affected houses have not been compensated, Al-Khalidi said.

The grievances of these protesters have been referred to the capital secretariat,   said, and will then be handed to the republic presidency and the Defense Ministry. 


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