AP

French court awards damages for 2009 Yemenia plane crash

Sep 14, 2022, 6:06 AM | Updated: 8:51 am

Bahia Bakari, second left, the sole survivor of the Yemeni airline that crashed into the Indian Oce...

Bahia Bakari, second left, the sole survivor of the Yemeni airline that crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009, arrives at the courtroom, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022 in Paris. A French court was expected to issue a verdict Wednesday Sept.22, 2022 in the trial of the Yemeni airline that operated a passenger plane that crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009, killing 152 people. (AP Photo/Nicolas Garriga)

(AP Photo/Nicolas Garriga)

PARIS (AP) — A French court on Wednesday ordered a Yemeni airline that operated a passenger plane that crashed into the Indian Ocean in 2009 to pay damages to the flight’s lone survivor and the families of 65 French citizens who died.

The Yemenia flight departed from Paris, picked up more passengers in the southern French city of Marseille and made a stopover in Sanaa, Yemen, where 142 passengers and 11 crew members boarded another plane to continue to the capital of Comoros, an island nation off Africa’s east coast.

The aging Airbus A310 crashed about 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the Comorian coast on June 30, 2009 while attempting to land in strong wind. A total of 152 people were killed, a majority of them from Comoros.

Yemenia, which is the flagship carrier of Yemen, was charged in the Paris court with “manslaughter and unintentional injuries.” The trial in the civil case ended in June.

The company had denied responsibility. But the court ordered Yemenia to pay a total of 225,000 euros ($237,000) in damages to the survivor, Bahia Bakari, and to the families of the French victims. Yemenia’s lawyers said they would appeal.

Bakari, whose mother died in the crash, said she was relieved by the court’s decision but that it would not erase the trauma and grief she has suffered.

“It’s something that has impacted me, that will impact me all my life,” Bakari told The Associated Press after the verdict was issued.

Bakari, who was 12 years old at the time of crash, survived by clinging to floating debris from the plane for 11 hours before being rescued. She suffered a broken collarbone, a broken hip, burns and other injuries.

Now 25, Bakari gave powerful testimony in a packed Paris courtroom in May, earning praise for her bravery from judges and lawyers.

Other witnesses slammed what they claimed was the poor state of air travel from Yemen, which has since been embroiled in a brutal civil war. Some claimed Yemenia was more interested in profits than in taking care of its passengers.

A lawyer for the victims’ families, Said Larifou, denounced the operation of passenger planes that he claimed were “flying coffins.”

In 2015, two French courts that oversaw civil proceedings ordered Yemenia to pay more than 30 million euros ($31.6 million) to the victims’ families, who deplored the slowness of the proceedings between France and the Comoros, a former colony that became independent in 1975.

The airline in 2018 signed a confidential agreement with 835 beneficiaries, who had to wait several more years to receive compensation.

—-

Surk reported from Nice, France

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

Biden meeting with his national security team as US pledges ‘support’ for Israel against Iran

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

8 hours ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

24 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

1 day ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

1 day ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

French court awards damages for 2009 Yemenia plane crash