Moscow, Apr 12. -Russian and Polish investigators began on Monday the hard task of identifying the remains of nearly 100 people killed in a weekend plane crash in which Poland''s president Lech Kaczynski and many other top government officials perished. Kaczynski's plane crashed in thick fog near Smolensk airport in western Russia on Saturday, reportedly after the pilot ignored traffic controllers' advice not to land. The President and his entourage were coming to Russia to attend a historical event.
Russian Primer Minster Vladimir Putin visited the sight of the crash Saturday and saw off Kaczynski's coffin from Smolensk where he had accompanied his Polish peer Donald Tusk, and conveyed Moscow's full support to Warsaw in this time of tragedy and said he would personally oversee the investigation into the crash.
On Monday, Russia declared a day of national mourning for the crash victims.
Kaczynski's coffin returned home on Sunday, but the remains of the 95 other victims were sent to Moscow for identification.
In Moscow, the Russian Health Minister Tatyana Golikova reportedly said the process of identifying all the bodies would take two to three days, while her Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz, who's visiting Moscow, indicated it was not an easy procedure.
In many cases it's only possible to identify the dead with the help of genetic expertise, said Kopacz who also expressed gratitude to the Russian authorities for their professionalism and their collaborative approach.
Meanwhile, in Poland the government decided to wait for the identification of Kaczynski's wife to proceed with the President's funeral.(Prensa Latina)