Poland Marks 1st Anniversary of Tragic Smolensk Crash

World | April 10, 2011, Sunday // 12:48|  views

The scene in Smolensk, after the tragic crash, which killed Polish President Kaczynski and a number of the Polish elite. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Poland marks Sunday the one-year anniversary of the plane crash near Russia's Smolensk, which killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynska, and 94 people from the country's political and military elite.

On April 10, exactly one year ago, the government TU-154M took off on its way to Katyn to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. The plane crashed near Smolensk during landing killing all on board.

Early Sunday morning, a special mass was served at the Okecie military airport in the presence of friends and relatives of the victims. Another mass will also take place in the great Cathedral of Warsaw, led by Cardinal Archbishop of Warsaw, Kazimierz Nycz. Families, clergy, and politicians will be in attendance.

Poland and Russia are still to reach an agreement on the cause of the tragic incident.

In January, 2011, Poland's panel investigating the crash reached the conclusion that Russian air traffic controllers at Smolensk have caused the fatality by failing to notify the cabin crew that the landing aircraft was off course while Russia blames the Smolensk crash solely on the Polish crew.

According to the Russian report, the presence of Poland's Air Force Commander, Andrez Blasik, in the cockpit was one of the main reasons for the plane crash, as he has been pressuring the crew. Blasik had a high blood-alcohol level, the aviation committee has stated.

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Tags: Poland, Lech Kaczynski, Polish, Russia, Smolensk, airplane crash, plane crash, crash


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