Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 11:55 UK

Families sue over aircraft deaths

Bethan Jones
Bethan Jones had a first class degree in English

The families of a south Wales couple, killed in a Thailand plane crash, are planning to sue the airline.

Alex Collins, 22, from Maesteg, Bridgend, died after the plane caught fire. His girlfriend Bethan Jones, 22, from Porth, Rhondda died 10 days later.

The couple were among 89 who died - eight of them from Britain.

Now their parents are among families taking action against One-Two-Go Airlines and associated companies through the US courts.

Parents Richard and Margaret Collins and Steve and Jean Jones said: "We can confirm that we are among those who have instructed Stewarts Law to take legal action against One-Two-Go Airlines, Orient Thai and Grandmax Group.

"We believe the air crash was completely avoidable and those responsible should be held to account.

"While we accept that nothing can bring Alex and Bethan and the other people who lost their lives back, we are keen to make sure we prevent this from happening again."

This is about air safety, getting the truth about what happened
James Healy-Pratt

James Healy-Pratt, partner and head of the aviation department at Stewarts Law in London, said: "This is about air safety, getting the truth about what happened and preventing it happening again.

"The families and victims of OG269 are taking legal action in the US courts imminently.

"We will be forcing One-Two-Go Airlines to prove in court that they are not a low cost, low safety airline."

Ms Jones and Mr Collins were on the flight which crashed in torrential rain at Phuket airport in September last year.

The couple had met while studying at Cardiff University and after graduating had saved in order to travel around the world.

Dream trip

They were just three days into their dream trip when the plane crashed.

A total of 123 passengers were on the One-Two-Go flight from Bangkok when the jet slid off a runway and burst into flames.

Mr Collins was initially declared missing after the crash, but his death was later confirmed.

Two days after the crash, Miss Jones was flown from Phuket to a special unit in Bangkok General Hospital and her family flew out to be by her side.

The full inquests into the deaths of all eight British victims will be held after an investigation into the crash is carried out.

Both the pilot and co-pilot were killed and reports in Thailand suggested inquiries blamed pilot error for the crash.


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