Polish plane crash: Russian investigators rule out technical fault

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London, Apr.12 (ANI): Russian investigators have ruled out technical faults as the cause of the air crash which killed 96 people, including the Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

They appeared to blame the Polish pilots for the tragedy, The Telegraph reports.

The investigators said that Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk, 36, the flight's first officer, had made three abortive attempts to land, and had been advised to fly to another airport, before deciding to make one last attempt.

Both Captain Protasiuk and his second officer, Major Robert Grzywna, were experienced pilots with over 5,000 hours of flying experience between them.

They were members of the Polish Air Force and ignored repeated warnings not to land in thick fog.

They (investigators) are now studying black box recordings to try to work out why the pilot did not divert to another airport.

Speaking at a meeting with the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who is in charge of the investigation, Russia's chief investigator Alexander Bastrykin, said: "The recordings that we have confirm that there were no technical problems with the plane.

"The pilot was informed about complex weather conditions but nevertheless made a decision to land," he added.

Teams continued to sift through the wreckage of the plane at Smolensk, where Kaczynski and those on board, including Poland's army chief, navy chief and the governor of the Polish central bank, were heading to honour 22,000 Polish officers killed at Katyn by the Soviet secret police in 1940.

The news shocked a grieving Poland. Hundreds of thousands welcomed the body of their president. They lined the streets of Warsaw to pay their respects as Kaczynski's cavalcade wound its way through the capital to the presidential palace.

The date of Kaczynski's funeral has not yet been set. (ANI)

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