Bodies Of Plane Crash Victims Returned To Poland

April 23, 2010

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The last 21 coffins bearing the bodies of plane crash victims returned to Poland on Friday nearly two weeks after the disaster that claimed the lives of President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 other people.

Government officials and family members gathered at a military airport to watch as the coffins returned from Moscow bearing the bodies of, among others, the plane's pilot, the head of the Polish navy and lawmakers.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk read out the names and short biographies of the 21 victims. The coffins will be transported to a chapel in a cemetery in Warsaw.

Poland's armed forces top brass, 18 members of parliament, three government deputy ministers and the heads of many state institutions died in the crash in Russia on April 10.

On Sunday, Poles buried Kaczynski in a cathedral crypt in Poland's southern city of Krakow, alongside Polish kings, poets and national heroes.

Poland will hold a presidential election on June 20.

(Reuters)