Poland to Dig Up Every Victim of 2010 Plane Crash

Officials fear crash was an assassination
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2016 9:46 AM CDT
Poland to Dig Up Every Victim of 2010 Plane Crash
The wreckage of the Polish presidential plane which crashed in Smolensk in 2010.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)

Six years after a plane crash in Russia killed 96 people, including Polish president Lech Kaczynski, the body of every available—that is, uncremated—victim is to be dug up, reports Reuters. The ruling Law and Justice party launched a new investigation into the crash after accusing Russia of withholding evidence, including the plane's black boxes, which Russia says it needs to complete its still-open investigation. Prosecutor Maciej Kujawski tells the AP that the autopsy reports Russia have provided don't explain the crash, which has been chalked up to pilot error but which some in the party suspect may have been an intentional explosion that served as an assassination.

The post-mortems will use "computer tomography in the field of toxicology and DNA ... [to determine] the injuries of the victims and the causes of their deaths, as well as to reconstruct the final moments of the disaster and its causes," per Radio Poland. The AP notes that weather conditions in Poland make exhumations possible between mid-October and mid-April. The plane crashed April 10, 2010, in dense fog as it approached Smolensk airport. Reuters notes that in announcing the relaunched probe, Poland's defense minister said the plane "disintegrated" just meters from the ground. (More Poland stories.)

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