[QODLink]
Europe
New details emerge in Polish crash
Inquiry finds presence of non-crew members presidential jet's cockpit before accident.
Last Modified: 19 May 2010 15:48 GMT
Kaczynski was killed in the April 19 crash in Smolensk in Russia along with all other passengers EPA]

Aviation officials have revealed that non-crew members were in the cockpit of the jet carrying Lech Kaczynski, the Polish president, who was killed when it crashed last month.

The aviation committee investigating the April 10 crash also revealed on Wednesday that the jet's crew had ignored repeated warnings of weather conditions that were unsuitable for landing.

More than five weeks after the tragedy, however, the investigators still did not offer concrete conclusions about its cause.

They said an act of terror, technical failure or an explosion have all been ruled out.

Tatyana Anodina, the head of the inter-state air committee, which investigates crashes in Russia, said: "It has been established that in the cockpit there were individuals who were not members of the crew.

"The voice of one of them has been identified exactly, the voice of the other, or the others, will require additional information from the Polish side."

She said the issue required further examination and she declined to draw any conclusions.

Cockpit investigation

Speaking after weeks of analysis of the aircraft's "black boxes" - voice and data recorders - by international specialists, Anodina did not comment on the identities of the individuals in the cockpit.

in depth

  Profile: Jaroslaw Kaczynski
  Obituary: Lech Kaczynski
  World leaders mourn Poland's loss
  Video: Nation in mourning
  Blog: Chill falls over Poland

The Polish news agency PAP, quoting a source close to the investigation, said one of the voices was Andrzej Blasik, the commander-in-chief of the Polish air force.

All 96 people on board, including Kaczynski, his wife and scores of senior Polish officials were killed in the crash in heavy fog outside the western Russian city of Smolensk.

There had been media speculation that a high-ranking member of the Polish delegation could have ordered the pilots to land, although until now this had so far been dismissed by investigators on both sides.

Russian and Polish investigators are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

Edmund Klich, the Polish representative to the investigation committee, said the individuals had been in the cockpit 16 to 20 minutes before the crash.

"I do not think this had a decisive effect on the causes of this event. But this is my personal opinion and only after a full investigation of all the circumstances will this be clear," he said.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list