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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Associated Airline Crash Survivor At War With Management Over Compensation.

Associated Aviation Airlines, whose plane crashed in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on 3 October 2013, killing 16 people, and
leaving four others seriously injured, is at war with one of the survivors over unpaid compensation, P.M. News can reveal.
The 46-year old victim, Ms. Oluwatoyin Yemisi Samson, a single mother of one and a cabin crew of the airline who was seated onboard the aircraft with 19 other people when their small plane, an Embraer 120, took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos at 9:32 a.m. but crashed less than a minute after take-off, nose-down near fuel depot.
The plane was conveying the body of former governor of Ondo State Olusegun Agagu from Lagos to Akure for burial.


Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, responsible for investigating air crashes, opened an investigation into the fatal accident on 11 October 2013, and a preliminary report suggested that improperly configured flaps for takeoff might have led to the crash.
The report also revealed that the number one engine appeared to be working normally while the number two engine produced significantly less thrust.
After the crash, Samson and other survivors were first taken to several hospitals, including the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, for treatment. She was eventually transferred to LASUTH on 9 October 2013 where doctors said she had suffered a blunt abdominal injury.
She was discharged from General Surgery Unit to Orthopaedic Unit because of a pelvic fracture on 16 October and placed on bed. Eventually, Samson was moved to Folatend Physiotherapy Practice hospital in South Africa, where she spent over two weeks.
She was not the only one; another staff who is still receiving treatment was also moved to South Africa for more care.

“But when I got back, they abandoned me. They paid me only one and half month salary arrears and claimed that I was not even their staff,” she told our correspondent in an interview on Tuesday.
“Whem Dana Air crashed on 3 June 2012; they quickly suspended their operations for maintenance and checks and suspended all their staff. I was among those who were suspended,” she said.
“But they called me to be part of their chartered flight to Akure. We had earlier done another chartered flight and I was part of that team,” she added.
“The question is not was I a staff? The question is, was I on that flight working for them? Do I deserve to be compensated?” she asked struggling to hold back tears.
This cannot happen anywhere in the world. We in Nigeria are very heartless people,” she lamented.
Samson said she still cannot move her right leg very well, and has not been able to secure another job since returning home to take care of her boy.
When contacted, Alex Emode, Associated Airlines spokesperson, quoted the Geneva Convention and argued that compensation is only given to families of the dead or survivors who suffer permanent body injuries.
He said Samson was sacked before the incident but pleaded with the Chief Operation Officer of the Airline to be onboard the tragic flight.
He asked her to go to court and prove her case, adding that any assistance from the airline can only be done on compassionate ground and not through pressures from lawyers.
He disclosed that the victim left some medical devices that were given to her in South Africa but rather went on a shopping spree.
“I did not go on a shopping spree and I did not leave anything they gave me,” she countered, adding that, “they gave me some little balls that were taken from me at the airport by security operatives and I informed them,” she said.



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