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Witnessing the scene of Polish president's plane crash

2010-04-11 08:28 BJT

Special Report: Polish President Dies In Plane Crash |

Plane wreckages scattered in the woods, with some still smoking. Dozens of white birch trees were half severed off. In the forest that the plane carrying Polish President and other Poland's key civilian and military leaders crashed, rescuers and investigators were busy with working. Outside the cordon line, people were laying flowers on the grassland, to mourn for the victims of the tragedy.

The 26-year-old Tupolev Tu-154, enroute from Warsaw to Smolensk of Russia, crashed Saturday morning in thick fog with the president Lech Kaczynski, his wife, the army chief of staff, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer and the central bank governor aboard.

A witness named himself Roman said he was washing his car in the village near the airport, when he saw a plane crashed down in the woods.

"It was foggy here at that time, I couldn't see it very clearly. I didn't hear any explosion, but saw a lot of smoke. The plane flew forward a distance after one of the wings had been knocked off by the trees. Then the other wing also broke down, and the plane crashed in the woods 300 to 400 meters away from the airport, " Roman recalled.

A Xinhua reporter at the site saw pieces of the plane wreckage scattering in the sealed-off woods, where four rescuers were carrying out a body from the wreckage.

One police officer pointed at a topless white birch tree about 300 meter away and told Xinhua that it was the first tree hit by the plane. Behind it, a number of treetops were cut off straight in the accident.

A woman laid some roses quietly in the grassland near the cordon line. Meanwhile, a helicopter was taking off from the Smolensk airport.

The Polish president's plane "clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces," the governor of the Smolensk region Sergei Antufiev told Russian media earlier Saturday.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: Xinhua