Explosions in the fuselage and wing of an official aircraft carrying the Polish president and dozens of important political and military figures caused the crash, according to a film about the work of an accident investigation committee, broadcast on Saturday.
The TU154M crashed as it approached Smolensk Airport in western Russia on April 10, 2010. The tragedy killed all 96 on board, including then President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria.
An official report on the disaster attributed the cause of the accident to a number of factors, such as the weather and the pilot’s error.
But Jarosław Kaczyński, the late president’s twin brother, and his political allies have long maintained that an explosion shot down the aircraft.
Once in government, Law and Justice, the party founded by the Kaczyński brothers, started an investigation led by Antoni Macierewicz, a former defense minister and Kaczyński’s loyal ally.
On Saturday morning, a 40-minute film based on the Macierewicz committee’s final report was shown on the private TV station Telewizja Republika.
Last week, Macierewicz announced that the report was ready and will be published soon.
“The committee has no doubt that the tragedy was caused by a series of deliberate actions, in the field of overhaul of the TU154M aircraft, the way in which the official government delegation to Katyn was prepared, the deliberately false orientations of Russian (traffic controllers) plane) to land 1,000 meters before the airport, as well as failures and explosions that finally destroyed the Tupolev and led to the death of the Polish president and the entire government delegation, flying into ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Katyn genocide in 1940 “, says the film.
The film claims that the research showed that the theses of the Russian investigators’ official report have no scientific explanation.
“Russian flight controllers steered the plane in such a way that the TU154M was at risk of hitting the ground a kilometer before the airport,” says the film. “This task was entrusted to the most experienced commanders, navigators and pilots.
“The TU154 was not sent to an alternative airfield,” adds the film. “Russian navigators gave pilots false information from the beginning about: aerodrome traffic patterns, gliding, successive runway distances and weather conditions. The landing of the TU154M was agreed, although the weather was otherwise.”
According to the film, the tragedy occurred at least 100 meters before the birch, which according to the original investigation was hit by the wing of the aircraft.
He claims that an explosion caused the aircraft to become unstable and lose lift. He also says that “characteristic post-explosion curls were visible on the severed parts of the wings, and the shape of the destruction indicates the post-explosive nature of the damage.
“The explosion exploded the left wing of the plane, cutting off its tip, and then the grooves and wing flap were destroyed, which ended up making it impossible to compensate for the loss of lift and resulted in the plane curving to the left wing,” stated the states of the film.
According to the investigation committee, the explosion in the wing led to a “desperate situation and the tragedy was completed by a total power failure 15.7 meters above the ground.
“This was the result of a second explosion, this time in the central wing near the generals’ hall,” says the film. “It was this explosion that killed the passengers in the cabin, throwing their remains at a distance of almost 100 meters.”
The film also claims that evidence of high explosive hexogen was found in the wreckage, stating that “all doubts as to the technical cause of the Smolensk tragedy were eliminated” after tests on samples of wreckage conducted by a NATO ally, which revealed traces of soot but also hexogen.
The investigative committee said that a detailed analysis of the spread of the victims’ remains also helped to establish the course of events.
Antoni Macierewicz told PAP that the final report is likely to be adopted by a vote by committee members in late April, adding that, in his opinion, the main evidence in the case is explosive materials found in the plane’s wreckage.