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Crashed plane operated by Poland parachute school

A plane which crashed in Poland had been operated by a private parachuting school, took off from the Rudniki airfield just outside Czestochowa, a fire spokesman said.

A policeman inspects the site of the crash of the Piper PA-31 Navajo plane in Topolow near Czestochowa Credit: REUTERS/Maciej Kuron/Agencja Gazeta

"From what we know 11 people were killed," said Justyna Sochacka, spokeswoman for the Air Rescue said

"There were 12 people onboard the plane."

A spokesman for the headquarters of fire services, Pawel Fratczak, said the crashed plane was a Piper PA-31 Navajo.

"The plane caught fire after it hit the ground," Fratczak said. The Piper PA-31 Navajo plane is produced by US firm Piper Aircraft.

Eleven feared dead in Poland parachute plane crash

An emergency medical services and fire services spokesman said eleven people were feared dead after a plane taking them on a parachute jump crashed in southern Poland shortly after take off.

Eleven feared dead in Poland parachute plane crash Credit: PA

One man in his forties survived and was taken to hospital in the city of Czestochowa in serious condition, 207 kilometres (129 miles) south-west of Warsaw.


Obama calls for '$1bn dollars to support Nato allies'

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to approve up to 1 billion dollars to support eastern European countries, which he says "will be a powerful demonstration of America's unshakable commitment to our NATO allies".

On the first of a four-day European trip, Obama promised support in the face of Russia's actions in Ukraine, which includes "rotating additional ground troops and F-16 aircraft into Poland".

Obama has promised to give continued support in the regions around Ukraine to help allies. Credit: AP

Poland and some of its NATO neighbours have been asking for extra troops for months. However, a big increase in US forces could prompt Moscow to take similar actions.

Speaking in a news conference in Warsaw he said that while maintaining sanctions against Russia, the US still wants good relations with the Kremlin.

Nato to discuss 'reinforcing forces in Poland'

Nato defence ministers will discuss temporarily reinforcing forces in Poland, a spokesman for the German defence ministry said.

A Polish soldier stands near U.S. and Poland's national flags and a Nato flag Credit: Reuters

The spokesman said the 28-member alliance would consider reinforcing its Multinational Corps Northeast in the Polish town of Szczecin, in an attempt to reassure countries nervous about Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

Nato defence ministers will meet in Brussels on Tuesday to review measures the alliance had taken given Russia's actions towards Ukraine.

France to send fighter jets to Poland

A Dassault Rafale combat aircraft, of the type France are sending to Poland. Credit: Reuters

France has announced it will send four Rafale fighter jets to Poland next week as part of a demonstration of Nato's commitment to central Europe and the Baltic States to assuage concerns after the escalation of the situation in Ukraine.

The French defence ministry said that the four warplanes will be sent to Malbork in northern Poland on 28 April on a double mission: to train the Polish air force and stand ready for air patrols over the Baltic states under Nato command.

Nato to meet over Ukraine as Poland 'feels under threat'

Nato has said an emergency meeting will be held on Ukraine at the request of Poland as it felt under threat from the neighbouring crisis.

Nato's Secretary General tweeted:

Poland made the request under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, meaning that "any ally can request consultations whenever, in theopinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened."


Ukraine building seizure 'could lead to regional conflict'

The seizure of government buildings by armed men in Ukraine's Crimea region could lead to a regional conflict, the Polish foreign minister has said.

Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski was one of three EU ministers to mediate Ukrainian talks last week. Credit: PA

Radoslaw Sikorski said the move was "a drastic step and I'm warning those who did this and those who allowed them to do this, because this is how regional conflicts begin. This is a very dangerous game."

The German defence minister has also expressed concerns over the events on the Crimea peninsula, saying the breakup of Ukraine must be avoided.

Eastern European countries welcome Ukraine 'change'

Countries in Eastern Europe have issued their support for Ukraine, after new parliamentary speaker Oleksander Turchinov, an ally of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was granted presidential powers:

Hague: Ukraine must have help to access vital funding

Foreign Secretary William Hague has spoken to Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about the ongoing situation in Ukraine:

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