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Bulgaria Ready to Pay Damages to Families Killed in Downed Plane

The Israeli and Bulgarian Governments have reached an understanding on payments by the East European country of damages to families of victims of the shooting down in 1955 of an El Al airliner over Bulgaria with a loss of 58 lives, official sources reported today.

These sources said a final agreement on the lengthy and much-delayed settlement could be expected in a few weeks. Dr. Chaim Yachil, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry visited Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, several days ago and expressed satisfaction with the talks he had there with Bulgarian Government officials.

After many months of futile talks with Bulgarian officials, who at first rejected responsibility for the crash and then admitted responsibility for the disaster, Israel lodged a complaint in 1959 with the International Court of Justice at the Hague, Israel told the Hague court that damages equivalent to $7, 462, 803 had been claimed.

The United States Government filed a brief and evidence on behalf of six American citizens who were among the victims and who left American next-of-kin. The court decided, however, that it was not competent in the case.

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