January 24, 2014 / 4:31 PM / 4 years ago

Air services company starts payments over Scottish helicopter crash

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - An air services company that operated a police helicopter which crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland, killing 10 people, has started to pay compensation to victims and their families.

The Bond Aviation Group said although the cause of the accident remained unknown, it was committed to ensuring proper compensation was paid to all of those who had suffered loss as a result of the accident. It did not say it accepted liability.

The twin-engine Eurocopter EC135, made by a unit of Airbus , crashed into the roof of the busy Clutha pub on Nov. 29, killing the three crew on board and seven other people while dozens others were injured(ID:nL5N0JF05P)

“Most claims should be capable of being settled without delay,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

“However, for complex claims which may take longer to resolve, and where appropriate, we will make interim payments without the need for each party to apply to the court.”

The company, which provides search and rescue, police and ambulance helicopters and aircraft for offshore operations, said there was nothing further it could confirm at this time.

The payments come two weeks after a group of about 50 victims launched a legal action against Bond.

The cause of the accident is not yet known as initial checks found no engine or gearbox problems.

Less than two weeks after the accident, Bond grounded its 38 remaining EC135s after finding a technical fault with a fuel indicator light in one of them, pitting the company against Airbus in a public relations battle. (ID:nL6N0JR35K)

At that time Eurocopter said it was aware of a reported issue with the fuel indication system but this was not an issue that required any action or a warning from the manufacturer.

Eurocopter could not be immediately reached for comment on the compensation payments from Bond on Friday.

The Glasgow crash was the latest in a spate of helicopter incidents in Britain and prompted calls from a transport union for a safety inquiry.

In August, four oil rig contractors were killed when a Super Puma L2 made by Eurocopter crashed into the sea off Shetland’s southern coast, causing a temporary halt on all Puma flights. An investigation found no technical fault.

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