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Wed 3 Jul 2019 07:53 PM

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Boeing to give $100m to 737 Max crash victims' families, communities

US aircraft manufacturer describes pay-out as an 'initial investment' over multiple years

Boeing to give $100m to 737 Max crash victims' families, communities
A piece of the fuselage of ET Flight 302 can be seen in the foreground as local residents collect debris at the scene where Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed . (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Boeing announced Wednesday it would give $100 million to communities and families affected by two crashes on its 737 Max planes that claimed 346 lives.

Describing the sum as an "initial investment" over multiple years, the company said it would work with local governments and non-profit organizations to provide "hardship and living expenses" and boost economic development in regions affected by crashes of planes operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air.

Boeing faces numerous lawsuits filed by the victims' families, some of whom have appeared at news conferences or during congressional hearings probing the disasters.

The $100 million figure is less than the list price for several leading 737 Max planes. Boeing said it would also match donations from employees to families and communities affected by the accidents.

"We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come," said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg in a statement to the media.

"The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort."

Boeing referenced "multiple lawsuits" in an April securities filing, saying it was also cooperating with various regulatory probes.

"We cannot reasonably estimate a range of loss, if any, that may result given the ongoing status of these lawsuits, investigations, and inquiries," the company said in the securities filing.

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