Plane Crash Claims World Leader
Polish president Lech Kaczynski and many of Poland’s leaders, political as well as military, were killed Saturday in one of the most politically damaging airplane accidents in recent history. President Lech Kaczynski’s plane crashed in heavy fog half a mile from Smolensk, a city in Southwest Russia, killing everyone on board including many high ranking leaders of the country.
The leaders were on their way to Katyn, the city in Russia where thousands of captured Polish officers were executed in 1940 by members of Joseph Stalin’s secret police after Russia invaded Poland in 1939. Mr. Kaczynski was due to commemorate the massacre of the Polish officers at a ceremony in Katyn.
Did Age Of Aircraft Cause Airplane Accident
The plane that the Polish leadership was traveling in was a 20-year-old Tupolev Tu-154, designed and built by the Soviets in the mid-1960s and operated by the Polish Air Force. Russia stopped production of the jet 20 years ago and there are only about 200 of the aircraft still flying. Polish officials have long sought to replace their aging fleet of aircraft. Former Prime Minister Leszek Miller, the survivor of a helicopter crash in 2003, has long predicted such a disaster.
“I once said that we will one day meet in a funeral procession, and that is when we will take the decision to replace the aircraft fleet,” he said. It is still unknown whether or not the age of the aircraft played a part in the plane accident. Russian news media reported that the president’s plane made several attempts at landing before clipping the top of a tree and crashing. The airplane accident scattered parts of the plane for over a mile.
Plane Crash Claims Polish Leadership
Poland’s government said the following Polish leaders lost their lives in this tragic airplane accident, Mr. Kaczynski; his wife, Maria; deputy speaker of Poland’s Parliament, Jerzy Szmajdzinski; head of the president’s chancellery, Wladyslaw Stasiak; head of the National Security Bureau, Aleksander Szczyglo; deputy minister of foreign affairs, Andrzej Kremer; chief of the Polish Army, Franciszek Gagor; president of Poland’s national bank, Slawomir Skrzypek; and the commissioner for civil rights, Janusz Kochanowski. There were 97 people onboard, 88 passengers plus the crew that lost their life in this horrific plane crash.
Thousands of grieving citizens lay flowers and lit candles outside the Presidential Palace. There is a somber tone throughout the entire country as they mourn the passing of their leaders. Magda, a 24-year-old student, while holding a single tulip said, “I wanted to be together with the other Polish people.” Ryszard Figurski, 70, a retired telecommunications worker added, “It’s a national tragedy, apart from their official positions, it is also simply the loss of so many lives.”
Many lives are affected in any airplane accident in this case an entire country is suffering. If you or a loved one has been involved in an airplane accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney. Contact us at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, we can help you.