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Russian who killed air traffic controller after crash welcomes twins

A Russian man who killed a Swiss air traffic controller he blamed for the loss of his wife and two children in a 2002 midair collision has become the father of twins. 

Vitaly Kaloyev’s story, including his time in jail for murder, has become the subject of several films, including one – 2017’s Aftermath – starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After announcing the birth of twins, a boy and a girl, the 62-year-old said: ‘Life has turned out so that I have children once more. And I have meaning in my life again.’

In February 2004, grief-stricken Kaloyev tracked down and killed air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, 36, at his home near Zurich airport. He plunged a 5.5 ins knife into Mr Neilsen’s stomach in revenge for the death of his wife Svetlana, 44, and children Konstantin, ten, and Diana, four.

They were among 71 who died in the tragedy over Uberlingen in Germany on July 1 2002.

Vitaly Kaloyev (centre), who killed a Swiss air traffic controller he blamed for the loss of his wife and two children (left and right) in a 2002 midair collision, has become the father of twins

In 2013, Kaloyev married engineer Irina Dzarasova (pictured), believed to be 22 years his junior, and the couple have since had twins

In 2013, Kaloyev married engineer Irina Dzarasova (pictured), believed to be 22 years his junior, and the couple have since had twins

Neilsen (pictured) had been alone in the air traffic control room in Zurich when he gave 44 seconds' warning to the Russian passenger jet on which the family was flying that it was too close to a cargo aircraft

Neilsen (pictured) had been alone in the air traffic control room in Zurich when he gave 44 seconds’ warning to the Russian passenger jet on which the family was flying that it was too close to a cargo aircraft

Neilsen had been alone in the air traffic control room in Zurich when he gave 44 seconds’ warning to the Russian passenger jet on which the family was flying that it was too close to a cargo aircraft.

In the mountainous mainly Muslim region of Ossetia in southern Russia, Kaloyev was hailed as a hero when he returned from his jail term in Switzerland.

In 2013, Kaloyev married engineer Irina Dzarasova, believed to be 22 years his junior.

The retiree, who could never forget or forgive over his family being wiped out, expressed his delight at having new children 16 years after the loss of his wife, son and daughter.

‘Doctors say that everything is fine with the babies,’ he said.

‘They were born healthy, all is okay. My wife is feeling good too. There were no complications. We haven’t given them names, but there is time.’

Kaloyev had been in Barcelona waiting for his family to arrive when they perished in the air disaster.

Their Bashkarian Airlines Flight 2973 from Moscow collided over southern Germany with DHL flight 611 which was on its way to Belgium from Italy with a load of cargo.

The crash killed 45 children, 15 adults and nine crew on the Russian plane, and the two pilots on board the DHL aircraft.

Kaloyev went on a personal search for his family and found the body of daughter Diana – still intact after trees broke her fall two miles from the main plane wreckage.

In February 2004, grief-stricken Kaloyev tracked down and killed air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, 36, at his home near Zurich airport after blaming him for the deaths of his family. Kaloyev is pictured by the grave of his family - wife Svetlana, son Konstantin and daughter Diana

In February 2004, grief-stricken Kaloyev tracked down and killed air traffic controller Peter Nielsen, 36, at his home near Zurich airport after blaming him for the deaths of his family. Kaloyev is pictured by the grave of his family – wife Svetlana, son Konstantin and daughter Diana

Kaloyev (left) plunged a 5.5 ins knife into Mr Neilsen's stomach in revenge for the death of his wife Svetlana (right), 44, and children Konstantin, ten, and Diana (centre), four

Kaloyev (left) plunged a 5.5 ins knife into Mr Neilsen’s stomach in revenge for the death of his wife Svetlana (right), 44, and children Konstantin, ten, and Diana (centre), four

His wife landed in a corn field and son in front of a bus shelter – both had fallen 36,000 ft.

Kaloyev had sought by legal means a meeting with the air traffic controller – but received no reply. He also spurned an offer of £130,000 compensation.

He then hired a private detective to track down Neilsen who died in the arms of his wife and children.

While Nielsen was blamed by bereaved families, he was due to be cleared of any charges of negligence.

Kaloyev was sentenced to eight years in a Swiss prison but served only three years after it was found his mental trauma from the case had not been taken properly into account.

He was released in 2007 and after a hero’s welcome in Ossetia was made deputy minister of construction in his region. He refused to express regret for his action.

Kaloyev had sought by legal means a meeting with the air traffic controller - but received no reply. He also spurned an offer of £130,000 compensation. He then hired a private detective to track down Neilsen who died in the arms of his wife and children

Kaloyev had sought by legal means a meeting with the air traffic controller – but received no reply. He also spurned an offer of £130,000 compensation. He then hired a private detective to track down Neilsen who died in the arms of his wife and children

Vitaly Kaloyev's story, including his time in jail for murder, has become the subject of several films, including one - 2017's Aftermath (pictured) - starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

Vitaly Kaloyev’s story, including his time in jail for murder, has become the subject of several films, including one – 2017’s Aftermath (pictured) – starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

‘Killing him didn’t make me feel any better,’ he said later.

‘Even in the Swiss jail nobody ever condemned or reproached me.

‘After the first two years I got into the medium-security jail where I could communicate with other convicts, and when I went out for a walk into the prison yard for the first time, almost everybody there came up to me to express their respect for what I did.

‘Life is more complicated than the law. I only speak for myself – I had exhausted all legal ways to find justice.

‘I believe any person in such a situation gets the right to be the law and perform justice.’

Schwarzenegger starred in the 2017 movie Aftermath based on the tragedy.

A 2018 Russian film, Unforgiven, starring Dmitry Nagiyev is also about the case. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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