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Polish President among 87 killed in Russian plane crash

Smolensk: Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died here on Saturday when a plane carrying 87 passengers from Warsaw crashed while approaching Smolensk airport in Russia.

The Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the President and his wife were on board along with Polish Deputy Finance Minister Andrzej Kremer.

None of the passengers survived in the incident that occurred about 1.5 kilometres from Smolensk airport under foggy conditions.

“It clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces,” Russia-24 quoted Sergei Antufiev, Smolensk Governor, as saying.

“There were no survivors,” he added.

Russian TV channels showed the plane’s wreckage scattered in a forest with parts of it still on fire.

Kaczynski was scheduled to attend commemorative ceremonies in Katyn, where 22,000 Poles were killed by Soviet troops 70 years ago.

Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the head of a commission to investigate the crash.

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