News from Poland: Smolensk Crash Investigation: Poland sets date for first exhumations

16:11 Oct. 28, 2016

Smolensk Crash Investigation: Poland sets date for first exhumations

A woman walks in front of a giant picture of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, who died six years ago when a Polish government plane crashed in Smolensk, Russia (AP photo)

The sarcophagus of late Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria will be opened first

Poland is proceeding with its plans to exhume the remains of the victims of the fatal presidential Tu-154 crash near Russia's Smolensk in 2010.

The sarcophagus of the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria will be opened first, Radio Poland reports referring to the local radio station RMF FM.

The presidential couple is laid to rest in the Wawel cathedral in Kraków. According to the station's sources, their sarcophagus will be opened on 14 November.

After that, the remains will be transported to the department of forensic medicine of the Jagiellonian University.

At the end of November, at least four other exhumations are set to be carried out, in Warsaw and Lublin. RMF FM said that all the 83 exhumations which have been planned are to be completed by the end of the year.

A total of 96 people died in the crash which happened in thick fog as the plane was attempting to land at the military airport in Smolensk.

In previous years, nine exhumations have been carried out. The prosecution later admitted in an official statement that six bodies had been wrongly identified and consequently buried in the wrong graves.

Earlier Gazeta Polska reported that in September 2010 Russian authorities placed the remains of a different person in the coffin of the last Polish president in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, who also died in the Smolensk crash.

Six years after the tragedy, Poland hopes the new investigative committee will be able to uncover the truth of what happened in Smolensk on April 10, 2010.

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