Poland offers damages to Smolensk crash families

24th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Poland is offering damages worth up to 64,500 euros (87,500 dollars) to relatives of the victims of the Smolensk air disaster which killed president Lech Kaczynski and a separate 2008 crash.

"It's obvious that in both cases the state should effectively take care of the families," Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters Monday in Gdansk.

A total of 96 people, including Poland's head of state and first lady, top military brass, the central bank chief and a host of other senior Polish figures were killed when Kaczynski's presidential jet crashed trying to land in thick fog on April 2010 in Smolensk, western Russia.

A Russian crash report blamed pilot error for the catastrophe while Polish investigators have faulted Russian air traffic controllers.

In a separate air disaster in January 2008, 20 Polish air force officers were killed when their plane crashed on landing due to pilot error in northern Poland in dangerous weather conditions.

Relatives who accept the settlement would still be entitled to pursue additional damages through the courts.

© 2011 AFP

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