Bashkir Airlines considers traffic control guilty of air disaster

The management of Bashkir Airlines lays the blame for a Tu-154 disaster over Germany on air traffic controllers and intends to go to court shortly, Nikolai Odegov, director-general of Bashkir Airlines, said at Domodevovo airport after arriving in Moscow on Tuesday.

According to him, the airliner which crashed last night following a collision with a cargo Boeing, was made in 1995 and carried out flights abroad. It had been flying to Spain for three years with the same crew who died in the disaster, Odegov said. "The crew was more than experienced, all first-class pilots, including the navigator, and all fluent in English," he emphasised.

According to Odegov, no changes are expected in Bashkir Airlines flight schedules because of the crash.

The head of the lines arrived in Moscow on a special flight together with members of a commission which is going to Germany to find out the circumstances of the catastrophe. As Odegov said, there are no relatives of the dead aboard the special plane. For them a flight will be arranged in about two days, since many of them do not even have foreign passports.

The disaster took place as a result of a collision at an altitude of 11,000 metres between the Bashkir Airlines Tu-154 and a Boeing-757 cargo plane of DHL, an international air carrier.

On board the Tu-154 were 12 crew members and 57 passengers -- 52 children going on holidays, and 5 adults attending them. On board the Boeing were two pilots. All of them died.

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