Poland Mourns Crash Victims; Investigation Points to Human Error

The body of President Lech Kaczynski arrived in Poland on Sunday, as the Polish nation began a period of mourning for their leader and several other high-ranking government and military officials. People lined up in silence along the streets of Warsaw as Kaczynski’s body was transported to the presidential palace. Kaczynski was one of 97 people who died when the Polish presidential plane crashed as it tried to land near Smolensk Airport in Russia.

On Monday, Russian investigators said that human error may have caused the accident as the Soviet-made Tu-154 presidential plane appeared to be free of any technical problems. Meanwhile, Polish investigators are looking into the possibility that someone inside the plane may have ordered the pilot to land the plane despite warnings of thick fog from the Russian air controllers. Polish officials have yet to listen to the black boxes, which could reveal the last moments inside the plane before the tragic accident occurred.

Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski said that the Polish government will soon start filling the seats left vacant by the crash, as some sensitive positions were affected by the tragedy. Among those who perished were the military chief of staff and the head of the National Bank of Poland. Election will be held within the next 60 days to choose Kaczynski’s replacement.