Taiwan pays NT$6.6 million each to families of bus fire victims

Taiwan authorities have reached a settlement with the relatives of almost all the Chinese tourists who were killed in a tour bus fire on July 19, agreeing to NT$6.64 million (US$208,917) per victim, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Wednesday.

The ministry said the relatives of 23 of the 24 victims have signed the settlement agreement and 22 of them have already received NT$6.64 million in compensation from the company with which the bus was insured.

The 23rd payment will be made when the victim’s relatives provide all the required documents, the MOTC said.

Regarding the family that did not sign the settlement agreement, they have received the NT$2 million in compulsory insurance compensation that was due to all the victims on the tour bus, the ministry said.

The family had said earlier that it was hiring a lawyer to handle the matter.

The settlement with the 23 other families was reached after coordinated efforts among various government agencies, including the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the Financial Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of Justice, the Tourism Bureau, the semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, according to the MOTC.

The bus carrying the 24 tourists from Liaoning province began to belch smoke on the No. 2 National Freeway while on its way to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on the final day of the Chinese tour group’s eight-day tour of the island.

The fire soon engulfed the bus and none of the 26 people aboard, including the Taiwanese driver and a Taiwanese tour guide, were able to escape.

Taoyuan prosecutors said on Sept. 10 they had determined that the death of all 26 people on board was caused by the driver, who was found to have deliberately set fire to the vehicle, and they were closing the case since the driver had also died in the incident.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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