Homes Were Destroyed When An F/A-18 Struck The Complex
Stories are coming in via the Internet of people who feel the Navy is being less than generous in its compensation for an F/A-18 hitting an apartment complex and destroying their homes. The incident occurred last Friday, and amazingly no lives were lost when the jet went down.
But plenty of lives were disrupted. Gizmodo relays the story of a "Redditor" identified as Devon, a 21 year old woman who lived in the apartment complex. She wrote on Reddit that her brother had been in his bedroom playing Guitar Hero, and had gotten up to put in his contacts just before the jet hit. He looked out of the bathroom to see the bedroom he'd been in just moments before in flames.
Devin says the Navy has given them $89 per day for lodging and $30 for food while they sort out the mess and find alternate living accommodations. She also said the clothing allowance was just $200 for those who had lost everything. She said the Navy would eventually reimburse them for their losses, but the process could take as long as two years and come with mountains of paperwork.
Another story appearing on the online site "Gather" relates the experiences of the man who actually cut the pilot down from his parachute harness and got him to the hospital. Colby Smith says that the navy made arrangements for he and his family to stay in a nearby hotel, but he was evicted the next day because the Navy refused to pay the bill. He claims an out-of-pocket expense of about $400.
In a news release, the Navy said that it has established a process through which compensation will be provided to residents affected by Friday's crash. "We are committed to doing the right thing to address the needs of these families, who through no fault of their own have endured an incredible hardship," said Rear Adm. Tim Alexander, commander of the Navy's Mid-Atlantic region. "We owe it to everyone affected by Friday's accident to help them get their life back together," he said.
The Navy met with residents the day after the crash to explain the available resources and start the compensation process. The Navy helped affected residents apply for compensation to cover short-term expenses, and to file for reimbursement for injuries or property damage. On April 8, the Navy began contacting residents to arrange payment of the emergency funds for those who completed their claims Saturday. The initial payments are for immediate needs such as housing, meals, and clothing. Payments begin at $2,300 for an individual resident and increases for additional family members.
The Navy has arranged to use checks instead of electronic funds transfers because funds can be provided to the residents faster.
An information and assistance call center has been established to provide additional compensation information and other resource referrals plus counseling and legal services to the residents. Residents may reach the call center at 866-345-8179 or 757-444-4557 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Residents who could not attend Saturday's meeting or who have additional questions, should contact the call center. Additionally, those residents who have requested compensation are encouraged to contact the call center to confirm that the Navy has all required information.
The Navy has had a legal representative and an information center at the Mayfair Mews Apartments from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily since Monday, April 9. That representative will be able to assist residents with forms, answer questions concerning compensation and accept completed forms from residents. (Accident image provided by the U.S. Navy)