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Court to Hear Teen Stowaway's Compensation Claim

A Chinese boy who hid in the landing gear of a plane and survived a 700-kilometer-long flight is suing the airport and airline over his loss of hearing.

A court in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, is due to hear the case Tuesday, the boy's attorney Yang Qing told Xinhuain an interview.

Liang Panlong, 14, brought a lawsuit against the Kunming International Airport and Sichuan Aviation Co. Ltd. and claimed 32,500 yuan (US$4,000) in compensation for damages, Yang said.

Doctors have diagnosed Liang with aero tympanitis and hearing damage. His parents said the unbearable pain had disrupted the life of the whole family, and demand that the airport and airline should held accountable for the accident.

On November 11, 2004, Liang survived freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen as he flew from Kunming, in southwest China's Yunnan Province, to Chongqing Municipality in an hour-long flight.

He was found by airport porters in a state of shock after the plane landed.

His 12-year-old friend, who climbed into the landing gear with him, fell from the aircraft as it took off and died.

The boys had run away from home and apparently wanted to experience flying.

Under a pact between his parents and the Kunming Airport, Liangwas paid 3,000 yuan on Nov. 20, 2004, which his parents found later did little to cover their damages.

The family filed a lawsuit in April, 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2005)

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