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The relatives of the victims of the Bodensee air crash are suing the Swiss air traffic control service Skyguide in a Spanish court
The relatives of the victims of the Bodensee air crash are suing the Swiss air traffic control service Skyguide in a Spanish court, the Swiss daily SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday. A Skyguide spokesperson confirmed the newspaper's information, saying that the motion was filed by 27 families in a Barcelona court on January 27. The American law firm Podhurst represents these relatives' interests. Neither Skyguide, nor the law firm, have provided information on the size of the suit. "The sums we hope to achieve are somewhat larger than the payments demanded out of court by another group last year, a Podhurst representative told the newspaper. According to SonntagsZeitung, the out-of-court settlement amounted to about 225,000 Swiss francs for every person killed in the air crash. In the U.S., Podhurst filed an action against the company that manufactured the collision-prevention system the aircraft was equipped with. The suit was filed in Spain, since the Bashkir Airlines Russian Tu-154, which crashed early on July 2, 2002 as a result of a collision with a freight Boeing in Germany's air space, was flying to Spain. The crash killed 69 people on board the Tu-154, mainly children from Bashkortostan who were flying to Spain for a vacation, and two Boeing pilots. The crash occurred in Skyguide's responsibility zone. The German department for investigating aviation accidents (BFU) mainly blamed Skyguide and partially faulted the Russian aircraft's two pilots. Air controller Peter Nielsen was on duty at the Skyguide control panel on the night of the accident. He was stabbed to death near his home in Klotten on February 24 last year. Russian Vitaly Kaloyev who lost his wife and two children in the air crash over Bodensee was charged with Nielsen's murder. Mr. Kaloyev is scheduled to stand trial in Switzerland this year.
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