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Ferry Victims May Get Compensation

May 30, 2000

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ A Norwegian insurance company on Tuesday offered a compensation package of about $3.3 million to those who survived or lost family members in the sinking of the Sleipner ferry.

The ultramodern catamaran sank Nov. 26 after it slammed into a shoal at high speed on its regular nighttime run between the west coast cities of Stavanger and Bergen.

All 85 people aboard jumped or fell into the icy ocean near Boemla Island, 250 miles west of Oslo. Fifteen people died and one was missing and presumed dead.

The Skuld insurance group based its offer on calculations of the real economic losses suffered by the victims or their families.

``The settlement is in keeping with traditional Norwegian compensation law,″ said Roy Erling Furre, leader of a support group formed after the accident. ``We were prepared for the result, but are still a little disappointed.″

All those who survived the accident will get at least $17,800. Those who lost a spouse were offered a minimum of $83,300. Children who lost a parent were offered $40,277, plus $1,300 a year until they turned 18, while those between 18 and 25 were offered a lesser amount.

Parents were offered $22,200 for each child lost under age 25, and $11,100 if the children were older.

The insurance company also said it would consider higher individual claims in some cases.

Lawyers for the survivors and families said they would recommend accepting the offer.

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