Mon | Mar 27, 2023

Polish plane crash victims identified

Published:Friday | April 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP):

Poland's government said yesterday that forensic experts have identified the last 21 bodies among the victims killed in the plane crash that claimed the life of President Lech Kaczynski.

DNA tests in Moscow had helped to identify 16 passengers and five crew members, government minister Michal Boni said. The bodies are to be flown to Poland on Friday.

Already 75 victims' bodies have been returned and burials were being held throughout the week.

Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and 94 other people, including many top state and military officials, died in the crash April 10 in Smolensk, western Russia, en route to observances marking 70 years since Soviet secret security murdered some 22,000 Polish officers during World War II.

Polish prosecutors who assisted the investigation in Russia, said yesterday that efforts were being undertaken to determine what caused the most devastating crash in Poland's history, but declined to give any timeline as to when the findings might be released.

Investigation will yield fruit

"I have every reason to believe that this investigation, which is being carried out at a good pace, will yield good fruit, based on truth," said Chief Military Prosecutor Colonel Krzysztof Parulski, who recently returned from Moscow.

The prosecutors declined to release any detail from the investigation, because it is being carried out by Russian investigators.

They only said that one of the three flight recorders recovered after the crash was being analysed in Poland, where it was made. It registered technical parameters of the plane during the flight.

Prosecutor, Colonel Zbigniew Rzepa said the so-called black boxes were recovered "dirty, muddy" because the plane crashed into a damp area, but inside they were intact.

Also yesterday, Germany's parliament held a moment of silence at the opening of its session to remember Kaczynski and the other victims of the crash.