- Title: RUSSIA: Crash scene footage where plane carrying Polish president went down
- Date: 20th June 2010
- Summary: SMOLENSK, RUSSIA (FILE - APRIL 11, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WING AND OTHER WRECKAGE OF CRASHED PLANE IN FOREST WITH RUSSIAN SOLDIERS
- Reuters ID: LVA9ASHLG0AY8K65LAE2U3BOUTC2
- Duration: 00:00:11
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Story Text: Poland heads to the polls to elect a successor on Sunday (June 20), 10 weeks after Polish president Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash near Smolensk in Russia.
Kaczynski died along with 95 others, including his wife and much of Poland's political and military elite on April 10.
The Polish leader was running late for a planned ceremony in nearby Katyn forest marking the 70th anniversary of the murder of some 22,000 Polish army officers and intellectuals there by the Soviet NKVD secret police, when the aging Tupolev aircraft crashed.
A transcript of the flight recorders from the plane showed multiple warnings from an on-board system to regain height just prior to the crash. There was thick fog at the time.
Fragments of the plane, including part of a broken wing, could be seen lying in a forest near the military airport where the plane was supposed to land.
The crash triggered an outpouring of sympathy for Lech's brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a former prime minister and now leader of the right-wing main opposition Law and Justice party (PiS).
Kaczynski decided to run for the presidency, saying he wanted to safeguard his late brother's legacy. He has proved an astute campaigner, toning down his traditionally aggressive style in a bid to win over middle-of-the-road voters.
That has helped him to narrow the gap with frontrunner Bronislaw Komorowski, although three opinion polls published on Friday confirmed that Kaczynski remained in second place.
Two of the polls showed Komorowski, the candidate of Prime Minister Donald Tusk's centrist Civic Platform (PO) party, ahead but short of the 50 percent required to win outright on Sunday. A runoff would then be held on July 4.
A third poll by PBS DGA showed Komorowski, who became Poland's acting president on Lech Kaczynski's death in his capacity as speaker of parliament, winning 51 percent on Sunday against Kaczynski's 33 percent.
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