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Crash kills 20 after air safety meeting - POLAND - 23.01.2007

Twenty members of the Polish Air Force returning from a flight-safety conference have been killed when a transport plane crashed in the northwest of the country.

The transport plane crashed on its approach to the airport near the town of Miroslawiec.

Authorities had initially said the crash on Wednesday evening killed seven people.

A general was among the 16 passengers and four crew members who were killed, Defense Ministry Col. Cezary Siemion said.

The Spanish-built CASA transporter crashed near the town of Miroslawiec, a few hundred kilometers northwest of Warsaw, around 7:07 p.m. (1707 GMT).

The passengers had attended the 15th annual Flight Safety Conference, held in Warsaw on Wednesday. The plane took off from Warsaw and was making several stops before returning to its home base in Krakow.

Officials said it was the first accident in Poland involving a CASA transporter, which is generally considered an extremely reliable aircraft.

Siemion said investigators were working to determine the cause of the crash, which occurred as the plane was about to land.

"Soldiers, husbands and fathers have died, and that is the most tragic result of this catastrophe," Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, according to The Associated Press.

It was the most tragic army crash since WWII.

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CASA airplane profile web page: http://www.eads.net/800/en/businet/miltrair/c295/c295.html

Polish Airforce CASA gallery: CLICK

Source: cnn.com


Click to view image: '144479-01.jpg'

Added: Jan-24-2008 
By: seekees
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Tags: poland, crash, air force,
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