October 02, 2015 10:38
Just over two-thirds of the families of victims who died in last year's ferry disaster have applied for government compensation, meaning they have foregone the right to sue the government.
The families of 96 of the 304 dead who did not apply are expected to file lawsuits against the state and Chonghaejin Marine, which operated the ferry.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said 1,297 applications were received by Wednesday. A special law passed earlier this year requires victims to apply for compensation within six months after the law went into effect.
Some 89 percent of the 157 survivors also applied for the package.
Among the families of the 208 dead who applied for compensation, 155 are relatives of students at Danwon High School and 53 of other passengers. The families of all nine passengers who remain officially missing also applied.
The families of 15 dead passengers and three survivors who had originally also wanted to sue the government seem to have changed their minds, since it was earlier reported that 111 wanted to take legal action.
The government compensation consists of W420 million for each Danwon High School student, W760 million for each Danwon High School teacher and W350 million for other passengers (US$1=W1,177).
The families and survivors all receive an additional W300 million in consolation pay and insurance payouts.
Other compensation claims were also filed, including 325 cases of lost cargo, 62 cases of damage from the oil spill caused by the accident, and 562 cases involving losses for fishermen in the area as rescue and search efforts dragged on.
The government plans to pay out compensation by the end of this year.
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