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Report: Singapore Airline Sues Boeing

July 8, 2001

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SINGAPORE (AP) _ Singapore’s regional airline SilkAir is suing Boeing Co. and other aircraft parts manufacturers over the 1997 crash of a SilkAir passenger jet, a report said Sunday.

A SilkAir Boeing 737 crashed into an Indonesian river on Dec. 19, 1997, killing all 104 people on board. The cause has not been determined.

In the suit, SilkAir’s insurer, Singapore Aviation and General Insurance Company or Sagi, claimed Boeing and other companies supplied a ``defective″ and ``dangerous″ commercial airplane, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper said.

Sagi sought a total of $55 million for separate suits in New York and Los Angeles, the newspaper reported, citing court documents. The other defendants named include Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp., Honeywell International and other makers of aircraft components, the report said.

SilkAir officials could not be reached for comment Sunday. Officials at Singapore Airlines, SilkAir’s parent company, declined to comment.

Sagi is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, The Straits Times said.

The families of six people killed in the crash have sued SilkAir, citing ``willful misconduct or default.″ Hearings began July 2 and are expected to continue for another week.

SilkAir denies that the crash was caused by negligence or breach of duty.

Initial reports by the Indonesian-led team investigating the crash said wreckage indicated the plane’s controls were set in a nose-down position when the plane went down.

The reports sparked speculation that the pilot, who had a history of safety violations and had been demoted, might have deliberately crashed the plane.

The Indonesian team’s final report said there was not enough evidence to determine the cause of the crash. In a separate report, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said intentional pilot action could have brought down the plane.

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