Wed May 19, 2004 07:31 AM ET
ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss air traffic control firm Skyguide said
Wednesday it accepted full responsibility for errors which
helped cause the mid-air collision of two planes in 2002 in
which dozens of Russian school children died.
Skyguide said it was dismayed by weaknesses in its systems
partially blamed for the crash. The disaster killed 71 people
and provoked a bereaved Russian to avenge his family's deaths by
killing one of the controllers on duty when the planes collided.
The firm was commenting on a report by German investigators
which detailed how a DHL cargo jet and a Russian charter to
Spain collided above the German town of Ueberlingen in July
"Skyguide accepts full responsibility for its errors and
extends its sincere apologies to the relatives of the 71
individuals who lost their lives," the firm said in a statement.
"The report reveals that weaknesses in Swiss air navigation
services were partly responsible for the accident. Skyguide is
dismayed that its safety system... failed on the night of this
tragic accident," it said.
Skyguide said it had faith in its management and added it had
already or was in the process of adopting the safety
recommendations contained in the Aircraft Accident Investigation
Of 19 recommendations made in the report, 10 applied to
Skyguide, the firm said.