Polish President Lech Kaczynski arrives at the opening of the NATO summit at the Kurhaus on April 3, 2009 in Baden Baden, Germany. Heads of state, foreign ministers and defence ministers of the 28 NATO member countries are participating in the summit from April 3-4 in Strasbourg, Kehl and Baden Baden to mark the 60th anniversary of the transatlantic military and political organization. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lech Kaczynski (Getty Images)more pics »Polish president Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and many top military and political leaders died Saturday in a plance crash in western Russia. There were no survivors out of the 96 people aboard the plane, which crashed into trees while landing in foggy conditions according to the New York Times.
Lech Kaczynski and Barack Obama (Getty)
Today is a national day of mourning in Poland, while attempts to identify the deceased are still being made -- many bodies are badly burned or disfigured. “It’s not an easy procedure,” the Polish Health Minister, Ewa Kopacz, said in Moscow. “In many cases, it’s only possible to identify the dead with the help of genetic expertise.”
Kaczynski, 60, and his group were heading to a ceremony at the Katyn forest, the site where approximately 20,000 Polish officers were executed during World War II. The event was commemorating the 70th anniversary of their deaths at the hands of the Soviets.
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