Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thai tragedy families sue

Jul 24 2008 by Our Correspondent, Rhondda Leader

THE families of a young Welsh couple killed in a Thai air crash last year are suing the airline in a £125m compensation claim.

Tourist Bethan Jones, of Penmain Street, Porth, and boyfriend Alex Collins, from Maesteg, both 22, suffered massive burns when the jet caught fire on a dream trip around the world.

Alex died in the disaster which killed 89 people including eight Britons.

Bethan died 10 days later in hospital, with her parents at her bedside.

Now their parents are among other families taking action against One-Two-Go Airlines and associated companies in the action through the US courts.

Parents Richard and Margaret Collins and Steve and Jean Jones said: "We can confirm that we are among those who have instructed Stewarts Law to take legal action against One-Two-Go Airlines, Orient Thai and Grandmax Group.

"We believe the air crash was completely avoidable and those responsible should be held to account.

"While we accept that nothing can bring Alex and Bethan and the other people who lost their lives back, we are keen to make sure we prevent this from happening again."

James Healy-Pratt, partner and head of the aviation department at Stewarts Law in London, said: "This is about air safety, getting the truth about what happened and preventing it happening again.

"The families and victims of OG269 are taking legal action in the US Courts imminently.

"We will be forcing One-Two-Go Airlines to prove in court that they are not a low cost low safety airline."

Bethan and Alex, were on the One-Two-Go budget flight which crashed in torrential rain at Phuket airport in September last year.

She and Alex had met while studying English at Cardiff University.

After graduating last year the pair worked in call centres to save enough cash to travel around the world for six months.

They were just four days into their dream trip when the plane crashed.

Alex’s heartbroken parents Richard and Margaret said: "Alex was a fantastic, loving son and our loss has left us with a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.

"He was an intelligent, polite and considerate young man with an extraordinary sense of humour.

"He had a great zest for life and both he and his girlfriend Bethan were really looking forward to this trip that he had meticulously planned for over a year."

The full inquests into the deaths of all eight British victims of the crash will be held

after an investigation into the crash is carried out.

Both the pilot and co-pilot were killed in crash – and reports in Thailand suggested inquiries blamed pilot error for the crash.

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