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Eight victims seek legal advice as airline silent

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 26, 2009) – The eight survivors of the Air Vanuatu fatal plane crash in West Coast Santo on December 19 of last year have broken their silence to seek legal advice from their Solicitor to proceed with their compensation claims from the national airline.

It is now four months since the crash and their spokesman, Morris Harrison said no one from the airline has spoken to them to tell them what is going to happen to them as far as compensation issues are concerned.

Their recovery process varied; some quickly while others slowly.

He said seeking legal advice is a normal process to get their concerns across to the company and that they are confident that their legal counsel and the company will be able to reach a satisfactory settlement out of court.

"It is hoped that taking up our case now will also help our national airline to focus on their priorities to set a precedent for the future," Harrison said.

While the company had promised to put the survivors through counseling, Morrison said nothing happened and when the counselor did arrive, there was no information and only some of them were counseled.

It is their hope that what looked like negligence on the part of the company to live up to their promise, would not happen again.

Both the Chief Executive Officer Hollingsworth Ala (who is understood to be on leave) and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Charles Lini could not be reached for comment.

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