C-295 crash claims 20 lives in Poland
A Polish military C-295 crashed January 23, killing all 20 on board. Among the dead were "16 senior members of the Polish air force," including a general, according to Polish Radio.
The cause of the crash was not immediately determined. The EADS-CASA plane was preparing to land in Miloslawiec, in northeast Poland. Polish officials say the nearly new C-295M was manufactured only last summer.
The officers were returning from an annual conference on aviation safety.
"This is the first kind of accident we see happening with this kind of aircraft. We are in contact with the Polish ministry of defense in order to give all the support they can need. We give our condolence and our sympathy to all in the air forces and the ministry and we are waiting," an EADS official says.
The plane can carry up to 71 troops or payloads of 9,250 kilos. The radio program quotes a Polish military magazine writer as describing the C-295M as follows: "Those Spanish aircraft are very heavily used in Polish Air Forces, especially for supplying Polish military contingent abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan. This particular aircraft was one of the best we have and almost brand new - launched from the factory last summer. We are one of the main of this aircraft - so far we have bought 10 of them with 2 more to be received this year and we hope to buy another 4 in the coming years. It's a bigger loss that we could even expect."