14 Oct 2009

PNG villagers want compensation for environmental damage at Kokoda plane crash site

1:34 pm on 14 October 2009

Papua New Guinea villagers have filed a claim for compensation for alleged environmental damage on their land near the Kokoda Track caused by a fatal plane crash.

Airlines PNG has confirmed it has received an insurance claim.

Its aircraft crashed deep in the Owen Stanley Ranges on August the 11th, claiming the lives of 13 people including nine Australians.

On Monday, PNG's newspaper, The National, reported the villagers were seeking compensation for damage to their land, forests and water caused by the crash.

They claim their only source of water supply that was built through AusAID funding in 2004 has been contaminated with human blood, aviation fuel and chemicals, which posed a health risk to them.

The landowners say they will allow Australian authorities to erect a memorial to the 13 victims on the site of the crash, but are demanding compensation for environmental damage to their land caused by the accident.