California crash survivors sue Asiana

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California crash survivors sue Asiana

A group of Asiana Airlines passengers who survived a crash landing at San Francisco Airport two years ago is seeking compensation.

According to the Seoul Central District Court, 53 survivors of Asiana Flight 214 including 26 foreigners, have filed a lawsuit against Korea’s second-largest carrier, demanding it pay them a total of 34.28 billion won ($30.62 million). The foreigners include 25 Chinese and one Indian who is living in Korea.

“We received serious injuries from the crash as the Asiana pilots failed to maintain the appropriate levels of altitude and speed when they were approaching San Francisco Airport,” the plaintiffs said in their complaint. “The pilots also failed to operate the automatic flight system.”

The plaintiffs said it was unfair that seat belts going over the shoulder were used for pilots, crew and business class passengers but not for economy class passengers.

The plaintiffs demanded the court to use California’s law as a standard to calculate the compensation because the accident occurred in the U.S.

The plaintiffs needed to take legal action within two years of the accident in accordance with the Montreal Convention.

“We are also negotiating with Asiana for compensation,” said attorney Ha Jong-seon of Barun Law Firm, who represents the plaintiffs.

In July 2013, Asiana Flight 214 from Incheon International Airport to San Francisco, with 307 passengers and crew members, crashed after the tail section of the plane hit the runway, killing three and injuring at least 182 others.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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