Missile misfire victim awarded compensation

Highest compensation of the year for relatives of ship captain

(By Central News Agency)

        TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The relatives of a fishing boat captain who was killed by a misfired missile has been awarded NT$34.84 million (US$1 million), the highest state compensation of the year, the Ministry of Justice said Wednesday.

        During a drill last July 1, the Navy accidentally fired a Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missile which smashed right through a fishing trawler near the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Straits.

        The skipper of the Hsiang Li Sheng was reportedly killed instantly, while three members of his crew were injured.

        An investigation showed grave negligence in the handling of the missile, which was fired by a lower Navy officer who had accidentally switched the system from simulation mode to combat mode without any supervision.

        The Ministry of Justice named the case in its overview of public compensation decisions for the period from January to November. In the 20 relevant cases, the government had to pay up a total of NT$99.96 million (US$3.1 million), with the Ministry of National Defense alone accounting for more than NT$70 million (US$2.2 million) of the total, reports said.

       The misfiring of the Navy missile was the single most expensive compensation case for the government this year, the MOJ said.