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robbie
10-04-2010, 09:51
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and scores of others are believed to have been killed in a plane crash in Russia.

Officials in the Smolensk region said no-one had survived after the plane apparently hit trees as it came in for landing in thick fog.

Several other government figures, including the army chief of staff, were also thought to have been on board.

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.

Plane 'hit trees'

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

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.

Controversial figure

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, Maria, 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.

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

MOSCOW – Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died Saturday along with 130 others when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in western Russia, officials said.

The governor of the Smolensk region, where the crash took place about 11 a.m. (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 Polish foreign ministry confirmed that Kaczynski and his wife were aboard the plane.

The head of Russia's top investigative body, Sergei Markin, said there were a total of 132 people on the plane, a Tu-154.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MOSCOW (AP) — The governor of a Russian region where a plane carrying Poland's president has crashed says there are no survivors.

Smolensk governor Sergei Anufriev made the statement to state news channel Rossiya-24 about an hour after the Saturday crash.

The Tu-154 plane crashed near the Smolensk airport, about 400 kilometers (275 miles) west of Moscow.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife were aboard the plane, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

Source: yahoo.com

manatsu103
10-04-2010, 18:49
It's a terrible tragedy.

crazy malchik
10-04-2010, 20:36
It's bad, but, I don't really care :-o

sakuya
10-04-2010, 21:23
It's bad, but, I don't really care :-o

130 people have died, half of them goverment members. Show some resspect, punk.

RIP.

fanoff
11-04-2010, 10:19
It's sad enough and what makes it worse is that they were going to the place where a massacre happened. Don't know what to say.

Argos
11-04-2010, 21:03
130 people have died, half of them goverment members. Show some resspect
If it were my government in the plane I would drink and dance for a week!

Don't want to sound impious, but how stupid was this?
No automatic landing system of the airport, dense fog and landing on this airfield against the explicit warnings of the Russian air control personel that it was way too dangerous in Smolensk to land.

sakuya
12-04-2010, 10:17
If it were my government in the plane I would drink and dance for a week!
.

They are people first. Besides I doubt new goverment will be better than them, so is there really a point to dance over this?

AshMcAuliffe
12-04-2010, 17:13
Been watching it on BBC News over the weekend and i really feel for your country Robbie. *hugs*
A terrible tragedy and even more so seeing as it was the 70th anniversary. :(

Argos
12-04-2010, 17:37
They are people first. Besides I doubt new goverment will be better than them, so is there really a point to dance over this?
Well, actually I had my own, the Austrian government in mind. :D

I don't know if my informations are true, but I have been told that the president was not invited at this commemoration, only the prime minister and his men. Not really welcome outside Poland, I suppose. So what's all this? A planned big show of him at Katyn?

Another thing - the landing. Mr. Kaczynski had ordered a risky landing in 2008 in Tbilisi, but then the civil pilot refused and landed in Baku. Now it was a military pilot under command of the commander of the armed forces, the president. For civilian air traffic the minimum range of sight for landing is 1000 m, during the ~4 unsuccessful landing attempts of the pilot the sight was between 300 and 700 metres. A civil pilot would have got serious troubles with the flight safety authorities even if the landing were successful.

If the president really has forced the pilot to land then I just have to say that a president, even if he stands above the laws of his country, he's not above the laws of nature and physics. In that sense - natural selection. I grieve for the 95 other, innocent people, who died and their relatives, not for the person who finally was responsible for this brainless decision.

Khartoun2004
12-04-2010, 18:41
Well, actually I had my own, the Austrian government in mind. :D

I quite agree actually. Is the Freedom Party still getting 15+% of the vote?

Argos
12-04-2010, 19:56
Is the Freedom Party still getting 15+% of the vote?
Of course. It's the only real alternative to our practically 65 years ruling, heavily corrupt two party oligarchy. In less than 3 weeks we'll have presidental elections and the choice is :bum: There is our current president, not bad but a coward, the Freedom Party has a female candidate, who is married to a neo-nazi activist, and the third alternative is from the Christian Party, who wants to reinstall "the natural and god-given role allocation of man and woman", sees homosexuality as disease, which has to be cured, and condemns sex education as "instruction for fornication and sexual excess." The conservatives and the green party have no candidates for tactical reasons. :confused: Still waiting for true democracy in my country... :rolleyes: )

Khartoun2004
12-04-2010, 22:59
Of course. It's the only real alternative to our practically 65 years ruling, heavily corrupt two party oligarchy. In less than 3 weeks we'll have presidental elections and the choice is :bum: There is our current president, not bad but a coward, the Freedom Party has a female candidate, who is married to a neo-nazi activist, and the third alternative is from the Christian Party, who wants to reinstall "the natural and god-given role allocation of man and woman", sees homosexuality as disease, which has to be cured, and condemns sex education as "instruction for fornication and sexual excess." The conservatives and the green party have no candidates for tactical reasons. :confused: Still waiting for true democracy in my country... :rolleyes: )

And I thought it was bad over here. I'm really not a big fan of two party systems. Percent Representation is so much better. At least then you see what the actual make up of a coalition is, rather than guessing at what forces are influencing the bigger parties. And it has the added benefit of allowing people to actually vote for their ideology rather than compromising between the better of two evils.

The Freedom Party makes me sick, but then again I come from a German Jewish heritage, neo-nazi douche bags give me nightmares. So I hope they don't gain more power.