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Polish President, National Leaders Killed in Plane Crash

Shocking news this morning from Russia:

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and scores of others have been killed in a plane crash in Russia.

Polish and Russian officials said no-one had survived after the plane apparently hit trees as it approached Smolensk's airport in thick fog.

Poland's army chief, central bank governor, MPs and leading historians were among more than 80 passengers.

They were flying in from Warsaw to mark 70 years since the Katyn massacre of thousands of Poles by Soviet forces.


The president was flying in a Tupolev 154, a Soviet-designed plane that was more than 20 years old.

Our correspondent says there had been calls for Polish leaders to upgrade their planes.

As well as the president and his wife, Maria, a number of senior officials were on the passenger list.

They included the army chief of staff Gen Franciszek Gagor, central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek and deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer.

Pray for the families of the crash victims and the Polish people, in the wake of this terrible tragedy.


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Comments (6)

My sympathies go out to the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

My sympathies go out to the Polish people. But I know that their democracy is easily strong enough to weather this storm. I wonder if ours is still strong enough.

It sounds like pilot error at first glance and not a mechanical failure. I'm sure we'll find out in the coming weeks.

Sounds like Die Hard 2 star... (Below threshold)

Sounds like Die Hard 2 starring Vlad Putin as the bad guy messing with their approach. Seriously, I'm sure it was pilot error/unfamiliarity with the airfield but boy what a coup for Russia as Poland has been a thorn in their side for some time.

Kaczynski was flying in to ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Kaczynski was flying in to visit the site of the slaughter of 22,000 Polish POW's by the soviets in WWII. Putin was to accompany Kaczynski in a sign of reconciliation.

Conspiracy theorists where ... (Below threshold)

Conspiracy theorists where art thou?

Burrock! They need a facsim... (Below threshold)

Burrock! They need a facsimile quick. We free you to become theirs.

A terrible tragedy! And Pu... (Below threshold)
Jayson Blair:

A terrible tragedy! And Putin will head up the "investigation." Chilling.






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