A spokesperson for Switzerland's Skyguide air traffic management service has identified "simultaneous descent of both aircraft that were trying to avoid collision in that way" as the likely cause of the plane crash over Germany. German media reported this statement represented the official version.
Both Russia's Bashkirian Airlines Tu-154 airliner and the Boeing 757 cargo plane of the DHL delivery service were technically in Swiss airspace, which is Skyguide's responsibility, as they collided over southern Germany Tuesday night.
The Swiss air traffic control claimed earlier that the Russian crew had failed to respond to its commands, which the controllers said had brought about the disaster. However, Russia categorically dismissed suggestions that Russian crew may have been responsible.
71 died in the crash. The Russian Tu-154 carried 12 crew and 59 passengers, including 52 children.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre