Support The Moscow Times!

Jet Faults Delay Polish Crash Victims' Flight

WARSAW — Poland's first lady and relatives of air crash victims landed safely in Warsaw on Monday after mechanical problems with two planes delayed their return from a ceremony remembering the Smolensk air disaster in Russia.

They flew home after faults had stopped one of their planes from taking off and forced a replacement plane to return to Warsaw following the ceremony commemorating a crash six months ago that killed Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others.

Polish first lady Anna Komorowska and her Russian counterpart, Svetlana Medvedeva, had on Sunday joined the ceremony with 170 relatives of the victims of the plane crash at a Smolensk airport.

A spokesman for Poland's flag carrier LOT said mechanical problems with two planes had caused delays on their return.

"The Boeing 737 in which the first lady and the family members were to return could not take off because of a malfunction of the engine ignition that was discovered before takeoff," the spokesman said. "The replacement Boeing 737 had to return to Warsaw because of an issue with the power generator."

Local media reported that Komorowska and most of the family members returned in a smaller Embraer plane around midday after taking off from an airport in Vitebsk, Belarus.

The rest of the delayed group was scheduled to return later Monday.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.