Compensation for gas blast victims
8 September 2004
BRUSSELS – A compensation settlement of EUR 1.2 million has been agreed for the victims of the Ghislenghien gas blast, it was reported on Wednesday.
Assuralia, the professional union of insurance companies, announced the donation for the 30 victims of the explosion who were not insured.
The gesture came after demands by Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt who met with insurers on Monday.
When added with the one million euro donation from gas company Fluyxs, the money now available should cover the initial needs of the victims, said Verhofstadt.
The money is to be managed by the Belgian state and from next week the first sums will be given to the victims.
Representatives from the interior, economy and health ministries will meet with the individuals concerned and their families to establish their immediate needs.
The chief administrator of Assuralia, Michel Backer, stressed that the money was a gift and that the company did not expect it to be paid back.
He said the decision, the first of its kind, had been taken for humanitarian reasons.
Government officials are still trying to establish responsibility for the blast and Verhofstadt underlined that the compensation so far did not represent the final figure for the victims.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news