News / Europe

Polish Delegation Visits Site of Kaczynski Plane Crash

Poland's first lady Anna Komorowska (C) walks to lay flowers during a ceremony at the site of a plane crash that killed former Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others near the Russian city of Smolensk, April 9, 2011
Poland's first lady Anna Komorowska (C) walks to lay flowers during a ceremony at the site of a plane crash that killed former Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others near the Russian city of Smolensk, April 9, 2011

Poland's first lady took part Saturday in a memorial service at the Russian airstrip where Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others were killed in a plane crash a year ago.

Anna Komorowska visited the site near the Russian city of Smolensk along with the families of the dead.

The late president Kaczynski's plane went down last April 10 as its pilots tried to land in heavy fog. A number of other top Polish officials also died in the crash.

The delegation had been flying to Smolensk to attend a ceremony in the nearby village of Katyn marking the 1940 massacre in which more than 20,000 Polish officers were executed by Soviet secret police.

Anna Komorowska and her group were also visiting a Katyn memorial Saturday.

On Monday, her husband, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, is expected to join his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Smolensk and Katyn.

Russian aviation officials have concluded the Polish pilots' decision to land in bad weather caused the crash. But Polish authorities believe Russian air traffic controllers also bear some blame.

On Thursday, Russian investigators said Poland is not fully cooperating with their probe into the plane crash.

Russia's Investigative Committee said Poland has not provided transcripts of the plane's voice recorder and telephone calls made around the time of the crash. Russia says it has honored Poland's request for documents relating to the disaster.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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