On July 1, 2002, two planes collided over Lake Constance. 71 people die, including dozens of children from Russia. 20 years later, the city of Überlingen wants to commemorate the victims. It is unclear how many survivors may be there.
Überlingen (dpa/lsw) - With a minute's silence and a wreath-laying ceremony, the city of Überlingen wants to commemorate the 71 victims of the plane collision 20 years ago on Friday (5 p.m.). Among other things, the Mayor of Überlingen Jan Zeitler (SPD) and the Secretary of State for Justice Siegfried Lorek (CDU) want to speak at the event, as the city administration announced in advance. Although the majority of the victims of the July 1, 2002 accident came from Russia, no Russian government officials were invited in view of the war of aggression in Ukraine.
How many of the Russian relatives will be present at the commemoration remained unclear until the very end. The German consulate in Yekaterinburg has promised that the necessary visas will be issued, said Nadja Wintermeyer, chairwoman of the "Bridge to Ufa" association. For many relatives of the victims, whom the association had invited to commemorate in the past, the trip was very expensive and time-consuming due to the restricted flight connections to Russia.
Two Russian families are not expected to land in Germany until Friday, Wintermeyer said. The first passports with the necessary visas were only delivered on Thursday. "This short-term nature shouldn't have been," said Wintermeyer.
Shortly before midnight on July 1, 2002, near Überlingen, a Russian passenger plane and a DHL plane collided and crashed. All 71 inmates were killed, including dozens of children. The Tupolev was on her way to Spain, where the children wanted to go on vacation. The two pilots of the cargo plane were also killed.
According to the Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation, the accident was due to technical defects and human error at the Swiss air traffic control Skyguide. In 2004, one of the survivors, who had lost his wife and children in the crash, stabbed an air traffic controller who was sitting alone in the control center on the evening of the accident and noticed the approaching collision too late.