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Polish President (along with 131 other passengers) dies in air crash


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A plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski has crashed near a Russian airport, officials say.

Russian media reported that 87 people were killed in the crash near Smolensk, and a regional governor was quoted as saying there were no survivors.

Polish officials said Mr Kaczynski was on board along with his wife Maria and several senior government figures.

They were in Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, when the Soviets killed thousands of Poles.

The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says the crash is a catastrophe for the Polish people.

He says Prime Minister Donald Tusk was reportedly in tears when he was told.

 

The Russian emergencies ministry told Itar-Tass news agency the plane crashed at 1056 Moscow time (0656 GMT).

 

Lech Kaczynski is thought to have been on board with his wife

Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said it had been flying from Moscow to Smolensk, but had no details on the identities of those killed.

Smolensk regional governor Sergei Antufiev told Russian TV that no-one had survived.

"As it was preparing for landing, the Polish president's aircraft did not make it to the landing strip," he said.

"According to preliminary reports, it got caught up in the tops of trees, fell to the ground and broke up into pieces. There are no survivors in that crash.

"We are clarifying how many people there were in the [Polish] delegation. According to preliminary reports, 85 members of the delegation and the crew."

Russian investigators said there were a total of 132 people on the plane.

 

The president was flying in a Tupolev 154, a plane that was designed in the 1960s and capable of carrying more than 100 passengers.

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

As well as the president and his wife, a number of senior officials were also said to be 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.

Mr Kaczynski has been a controversial figure in Polish politics, advocating a right-wing Catholic agenda.

He has opposed rapid free-market reforms and favoured retaining social welfare programmes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8612825.stm

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I was reading about this earlier, very tragic story especially as it seems to plane was only carrying very important people from Poland, the President, head of the army, head of financing in one of Polands leading banks, head of security etc.

 

 

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I was reading about this earlier, very tragic story especially as it seems to plane was only carrying very important people from Poland, the President, head of the army, head of financing in one of Polands leading banks, head of security etc.

 

 

 

lets hope this was just a tragic accident and nothing more sinister.

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I was reading about this earlier, very tragic story especially as it seems to plane was only carrying very important people from Poland, the President, head of the army, head of financing in one of Polands leading banks, head of security etc.

 

 

 

lets hope this was just a tragic accident and nothing more sinister.

It crashed by hitting a tree because of fog, can't see it being anything sinister about it.

Tragic though.

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Who is that Polish guy on here? Pullman?

 

What's your feeling towards this?

 

Holy shit, just hearing about this now. Absolutely gutted though I'm not a big fan of the man in any way.

Going to head upstairs and watch the news, there will definitely be a lot of conspiracy theories going around for the next few days as the Polish-Russian relations are far from good and this is similar to the death of Władysław Sikorski during the WW2  which some people are still sure was caused by the Russians(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C5%82adys%C5%82aw_Sikorski).

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Not a big fan of flying myself Jill but I try to tell myself how many flights there are every day and how many crash? It must be a REALLY small percentage, especially compared to things like fatal road accidents when most people don't even give traveling in a car/coach/bus etc... a second thought.

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Not a big fan of flying myself Jill but I try to tell myself how many flights there are every day and how many crash? It must be a REALLY small percentage, especially compared to things like fatal road accidents when most people don't even give traveling in a car/coach/bus etc... a second thought.

 

Used to try this but now I've seen too many episodes of Air Crash Investigation.  :undecided:

 

I hate travelling by car as well, especially on motorways, strangely trains are fine though.

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Such an irony that they died on the same ground that the Katyn massacre took place. A lot of senators, politicians and people in key positions that died on that plane, the coming weeks will be very interesting in Polish politics.

 

 

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One thing to point out is that the president of the Polish Sejm was on that plane and according to Polish law he is the one that takes over the president's duty should something befall him. No idea what happens now.

 

edit: Actually been confirmed that Bronislaw Komorowski president of the Sejm will take over the president's duties for the time being. Seems he wasn't on the plane, must have misread that =/

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I love flying, infact I'm the sort of person who watches air crash investigations the night before the day I have a 10 hour flight going passed a tornando on the wao, or the guy who watches the Legoliers before flying to Amsterdam and then onwards to Canada.

 

Horrible shame this news is though. RIP.

 

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Certainly has to be some sinister motives behind this. Many Russians weren't happy that they accepted blame for Katyn, then on the day of the memorial of it the Polish president and 100+ others are killed in a plane crash. All seems too coincidental to me.

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Seems like the pilot was at fault. He was flying dangerously low and they instructed him to keep a steady course, instead he went lower and ended up flying into a tree. They also instructed him to land at another airport but he opted to try landing there again even after having failed to do so 3 times.

 

 

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Old Tu-154, Russian airfield, fog ..... nasty combination TBH

 

 

of course the pilot had the president and the whole of the Armed Forces top brass on board so the pressure to get into Smolensk and not go off and force them to take a longgg ride from another airfield must have been immense

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Old Tu-154, Russian airfield, fog ..... nasty combination TBH

 

 

of course the pilot had the president and the whole of the Armed Forces top brass on board so the pressure to get into Smolensk and not go off and force them to take a longgg ride from another airfield must have been immense

 

Minsk isn't that far from Smolensk though. It's only a 90 minute flight from Warsaw to Smolensk with Minsk being somehwere in between.

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But if you are THE PRESIDENT you expect to be delivered on time at the right place - and there is no slack in the timetable - they don't have to wait for Customs and Immigration so the timetable is always very tight

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Guest toonlass

Old Tu-154, Russian airfield, fog ..... nasty combination TBH

 

 

of course the pilot had the president and the whole of the Armed Forces top brass on board so the pressure to get into Smolensk and not go off and force them to take a longgg ride from another airfield must have been immense

 

Didn't think countries flew all their top brass together because of this very thing.

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most countries don't............................... 

 

making an approach in fog and then dipping below the glide path to try and see the runway  happens all the time - it kills people in light aircraft every year in the States for example

 

These days most airline pilots have had it hammered into them that you DO NOT DO THIS - the glidepath is the only thing that ensures you are in clear air - if you can't see th erunway at he Decision Height you bugger off.  On BA the flying pilot watches the needles and the #2 pilot watches out of the window.  The flying pilot calls "decision Height" and unless the #2 pilot says "runway in sight" the throttles go in and you climb away - even on a clear day if #2 is day dreaming.................

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