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The President of Poland Dies In Plane Crash
Polish president Lech Kaczynski and other senior officials are among dozens of people killed when their plane crashed in western Russia.

Polish and Russian officials said there were no survivors when the jet crashed as it approached Smolensk airport.

Russia's Emergency Ministry said there were 96 dead, with 88 were part of a Polish state delegation.

"We still cannot fully understand the scope of this tragedy and what it means for us in the future. Nothing like this has ever happened in Poland," Paszkowski said. "We can assume with great certainty that all persons on board have been killed."

Russian TV broadcast footage showing the plane's wreckage scattered in a forest with parts of it still on fire.

"It clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces," the governor of the Smolensk region, Sergei Antufiev, told Russia-24 television news network.

Footage showed the plane broken into numerous pieces, including engines and a huge chunk of the plane's vertical stabilizer caked in mud, strewn over a large deforested area.

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski delivers a speech during a press conference with Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite.

President Kaczynski, his wife, and other Polish officials were on the plane

Firefighters doused portions of the plane that were still ablaze while groups of security personnel in camouflage uniforms and investigators in civilian clothes inspected the wreckage.

The Russian foreign ministry told Interfax news agency that the plane, which was painted in red and white livery, had crashed in heavy fog.

President Kaczynski's wife Maria, army chief of staff Franciszek Gagor, National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek and Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer were also on board.

MPs and historians were among the delegation travelling, along with the officials' family members.

The crash took place around 11 am, about one mile from Smolensk airport, as the triple-engined Tu-154 plane neared the airport, 275 miles west of Moscow.

Scattered wreckage of plane carrying polish president that crashed appproaching Smolensk airport in wetsern Russia.

Russian officials suspect pilot error for the crash

Pilot error is suspected as a cause in the crash, according to Russia's news agency RIA Novosti.

"The cause of the plane crash was apparently an error by the crew during the approach to landing," an unnamed official in Smolensk said.

Polish citizens have started leaving floral and candle tributes near the presidential palace in Poland's capital, Warsaw, while official flags were lowered to half-mast.

A new presidential election date must be announced within two weeks and an election held within the following two months.

"In line with the constitution, we will have to hold an early presidential poll," government spokesman Pawel Gras said.

"For now, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, is automatically... the acting president."

President Kaczynski recently visited Lithuania and helped mark the 20th anniversary of Lithuania's 's secession from Moscow's rule.

The 60-year-old president was leading the delegation to Russia to visit the Katyn forest, near Smolensk, where Soviet secret police killed 22,000 Polish prisoners of war 70 years ago.

Russia never formally apologized for the murders, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's attendance at a memorial ceremony days ago was seen as a reconciliation goodwill gesture.

Mr Putin has been put in charge of a commission investigating the air crash, the Kremlin has announced.
The first time I've heard this news when I opened the TV it immediately entered in my mind that maybe there was a foul play about his death. But in an instance i reckon that maybe it is just a mere accident. who knows. May he rest his peace together with this companion.
President Lech Kaczynski’s plane tried to land in a thick fog, missing the runway and snagging treetops about half a mile from the airport in Smolensk, scattering chunks of fuselage across a bare forest.
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