Tears on the streets for Poland's tragic president

Tears on the streets for Poland's tragic president

People light candles and lay flowers in front of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, April 10, 2010, as news broke about the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski . AP

Crowds left red and white roses and lit candles in front of the 200 year old building near Warsaw's old town. Though Kaczynski was a divisive figure in his home country, many were in tears.

"It's unreal. I still can't believe it. I'm shocked," said 32-year-old Katarzyna who joined the throngs outside the palace after hearing news of the plane crash in Poland which killed the president and many other top leaders.

Poland's central bank governor and armed forces chiefs of staff were also among the 96 people killed when the ageing Tupolev jet crashed in thick fog near the western Russian city of Smolensk.Some of the mourning crowds gathered around a priest to pray, joined by officials from the president's office.Flags outside the palace were at half mast, while thousands of Warsaw residents flew flags from their balconies.

"I was in the market shopping when my son called me. My legs went numb. The people around me thought that I was going to faint," said 78-year-old Janina Sebastinow.
"It's a huge loss that's impossible to compensate. Those who died were decent people," she added.

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