Polish president among 132 killed in plane crash in Russia

10th Apr 2010
Polish president among 132 killed in plane crash in Russia

Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife have been killed after their plane crashed whilst landing at an airport in western Russia.

Russian news agencies reported that all 132 people died in the crash near Smolensk airport in western Russia, citing the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

According to reports, the pilot accelerated as the plane came in to land and at that point lost contact with air traffic control. A fire then broke out.

The president and his wife were on their way to attend a World War Two memorial service.

The governor of the Smolensk region, where the crash took place about 11am (0700 GMT), said no one survived.


“The Polish presidential plane did not make it to the runway while landing. Tentative findings indicate that it hit the treetops and fell apart,” Sergei Anufriev said on state news channel Rossiya-24. “Nobody has survived the disaster.”

The crash occurred about 1.5 km from Smolensk airport in foggy conditions.

A Polish government official said the head of the Polish army and the head of the presidential administration were also on board the plane, along with the president’s wife and families of other senior officials.

Kaczynski, 60, became president in December 2005. He had said he would seek a second term in presidential elections this autumn.

Kaczynski’s wife, Maria, was an economist. They had a daughter, Marta, and two granddaughters.


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