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'Someone planted a bomb' on presidential plane that crashed in 2010: investigator

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 19.01.2018 11:58
The Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in 2010 killing everyone on board “exploded because someone planted a bomb and caused that bomb to detonate,” a crash investigator has said.
The site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsThe site of the Polish presidential plane crash in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Wiesław Binienda, an engineering professor and a member of a commission investigating the fatal crash told Poland’s right-wing Telewizja Republika broadcaster that it was clear that the crash was “not an accident, it was an attack”.

Binienda also claimed that leading British air crash investigator Frank Taylor said “the plane exploded because someone planted a bomb and caused that bomb to detonate”.

Taylor, another of the commission’s members, earlier said that he had “no doubt whatsoever that there was an explosion” on the Polish presidential TU-154 that crashed in Smolensk, western Russia on 10 April 2010, killing then-President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 others, mainly political and military top brass.

Taylor added that “the vast majority of the damage can only be explained by an explosion”.

He also said that a birch tree did not cause “original” damage to the wing and may have been destroyed by debris after the explosion, casting doubt on earlier reports which said that the plane's wing hit the tree while trying to land at Smolensk, causing the craft to crash.

Taylor said the the explosion had “several sources” on the plane, reiterating a statement issued last week by the commission investigating the crash.

The statement said: "These conclusions were adopted by the members [of the commission] and constitute one of the key conclusions of [its] technical report”.

Last April, the commission said that the presidential plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.

The commission was set up by Poland’s conservative governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in 2015.

The party is headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, the twin of Lech Kaczyński who died in the crash.

PiS has long challenged an official report into the disaster issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.

In mid-December last year, Poland's then-defence minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said that Russia was responsible for the plane crash. He also said that the Polish presidential plane was destroyed by "two explosions." (vb)

tags: Smolensk
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