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MP finds debris, personal items at crash site

THREE months after an airplane crash killed 42 Slovak soldiers and aircrew in northern Hungary, personal items and debris are still being found at the crash site.

THREE months after an airplane crash killed 42 Slovak soldiers and aircrew in northern Hungary, personal items and debris are still being found at the crash site.

MP Lajos Ladányi from the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) discovered a number of items while visiting the scene last weekend, including navigation equipment, steel sheeting, a mobile phone, a wristwatch, a camera card, and even a passport from one of the victim's.

Slovak MPs are calling the situation scandalous and demand the military discipline those responsible.

The Army has responded by claiming the items were hidden under snow until recently, and that it was impossible to recover everything immediately.

"I'm very sorry for what happened, but we did everything we could. We also have to realize that it is not our [Slovak] territory, and we have to coordinate our searches with the Hungarian side," said Ľubomír Bulík, chief of staff of the Slovak Army, to the Pravda daily.

During an official visit on April 12, chief of staff of the Hungarian Army, András Havril, assured Bulík that Hungary would do its best in assisting Slovakia in completing the search, stating that there were currently 60 soldiers and six military policemen working at the site.

The Slovak soldiers who died in the air crash were on their way home from a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo when their Antonov plane slammed into a hill minutes from a scheduled landing in Košice. While the precise cause of the accident is still under investigation, pilot error is suspected.

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