Polish president killed in Tu-154 crash

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Polish president Lech Kaczynski is among some 90 people killed after a governmental Tupolev Tu-154 crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk.

The Polish presidential office confirms that Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and dozens of senior Polish representatives were on board the aircraft.

It states that preliminary information suggests the aircraft struck trees at the end of the runway while attempting a go-around. Weather conditions were reportedly poor, including fog, but meteorological information from the airport has yet to be confirmed, as is a report that the Tu-154's crew was offered a diversion.

The presidential office says it is still awaiting official information regarding the number of occupants, and the total number of casualties.

It has published a list of around 90 people - headed by Kaczynski - who checked at Warsaw for the flight to Smolensk, including many senior representatives of the Government and military - among them notable politicians, and army and air force commanders.

The country's presidential air wing has two Tu-154Ms, numbered 101 and 102. While the airframe involved has yet to be positively identified, the presidential office manifest indicates the number '101' next to the aircraft type.

manifest
 Source: Polish presidential office

Russia's emergency situations ministry states that there is no evidence of survivors from the accident, which occurred at 10:50 Moscow time. Smolensk's military airport, Severni, is located to the north of the city and has 2,500m east-west runway. The ministry says the aircraft came down 300m from the runway.

Ninety-six people, it adds, were on board of which 88 were members of the official Polish delegation. Around 100 rescue personnel and 18 vehicles have attended the crash scene.

Kaczynski, elected president in 2005, was due to attend a memorial service to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1940 massacre of Polish prisoners at Katyn.

polish tu-154 crash
 Source: Danish TV2