Tokyo — The deadliest single-plane accident in history will likely also become the most costly air accident — with compensation for victims’ families alone estimated at $200 million, aviation and insurance industry experts say.

Personal life and causality policies and the $35 million carried on the Japan Air Lines jumbo jet, could add another $100 million or more to the final payout.

JAL and the government have also spent millions of dollars for rescue and recovery operations and for the care of relatives identifying bodies in a town near the remote crash site.

The Boeing 747 crashed Aug. 12 into a mountain in central Japan, killing 520 passengers and crew, the world’s worst single-airplane accident in terms of lives lost. Four people survived.

Aviation and insurance experts said the biggest payout item, compensation by JAL and its insurance

Carriers to the families or estates of the dead will be higher if investigators find evidence of airline negligence.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined and _ airline spokesmen declined to discuss compensation estimates. Pieces of the tail section were found many miles from the crash site.

Using standard formulas, however, experts said individual payouts were likely to average 100 million yen, or $400,000, noting many victims was businessmen who were their families’ sole wage earners.

“Japanese compensation levels are generally the second highest in the world, next to the United States,” said Tokyo attorney who

Specializes in aviation. ““Sometimes, they’re higher.”

The total, approaching $200 million, will set a record in Japan and contribute to making the accident the most costly ever, they said.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 6, 1985