Pope John Paul II has sent a message of condolences to the relatives and loved ones of those who died in the Russian Tu-154 airliner's crash over Germany. The telegram sent on behalf of the Pope by the Vatican's State Secretary Angelo Soldano, says that the Pope grieves over the victims of the crash in which so many Russians and mainly children were killed. The Pope prays for the dead and expresses his spiritual support for their relatives.
Last night, a Russian Tu-154 passenger airliner of the Bashkirian Airlines company and a Boeing-757 freight aircraft of the DHL international air transportation company collided in Germany over Boden See at a height of 11,000 metres.
On board the Tu-154 were 12 crew-members and 57 passengers, including 52 children who were on their way to a holiday, and 5 adults accompanying them. On board the Boeing were two pilots. All were killed.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969