Holland Marks 1st Anniversary of El Al Crash As Claims Mount

Thousands of people attended a memorial service here Sunday to commemorate the first anniversary of the crash of an E1 A1 cargo jet into a 10-story apartment block in suburban Amsterdam.

Forty-three people died, 80 apartments were destroyed and another 150 were made uninhabitable as a result of the crash, the worst in Holland’s history.

Crowds marched in a silent procession on the eve of the anniversary of the disaster, which occurred when the Boeing 747 lost two of its four engines shortly after taking off from Amsterdam’s international airport.

Wreaths were laid by Amsterdam Mayor Ed van Thijn and by representatives of local immigrant communities, which suffered the heaviest tolls in the disaster.

Along with the three Israeli members of the plane’s crew and one passenger, 39 people living in the apartment complex died as a result of the crash. Only one of them was Dutch; the rest were from mainly Caribbean and African nations.

Boeing has announced that it will pay damages only to those people who are next of kin to the victims or to those who lived in apartments that were damaged in the crash. The company said it would not pay damages to those living in neighboring apartments who claimed that they were traumatized by the disaster.

Some 1,400 claims for damages have been submitted to the representatives of Boeing and E1 A1 in Amsterdam. Claims were also filed by the city of Amsterdam and the company that owns the damaged apartment complex.

Lawyers for Boeing and E1 A1 have alleged that some 125 people have submitted claims through more than one lawyer and that others have submitted claims under more than one name.

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