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De Margerie, Total CEO, killed in Moscow plane crash

De Margerie, Total CEO, killed in Moscow plane crash
October 21
12:31 2014

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive officer of French oil company, Total, died on Monday night when a private jet collided with a snow plough at Moscow’s Vnukovo international airport.

Three crew members also lost their lives in the crash.

“Tonight a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine,” Elena Krylova, airport spokeswoman, told The Guardian.

“Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total’s head, De Margerie.”

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The oil company also confirmed the incident in a statement.

“Total confirms with deep regret and great sadness that chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died just after 10pm (Paris time) on October 20 in a private plane crash at Vnukovo airport in Moscow, following a collision with a snow removal machine.”

The collision occurred just before midnight as the Dassault Falcon business jet, which was bound for Paris, attempted to take off.

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De Margerie, 63, was attending a Russian government meeting on foreign investment in Gorki, near Moscow, on Monday.

In a statement, the Vnukovo airport said that the Falcon Dassault business aviation jet crashed as it prepared to take off for Paris with one passenger and three crew members on board.

“During run-up at 11.57pm there was a collision with the airport’s snow plough. As a result of the crash the passenger and all the crew members died.”

The airport said that visibility was at 350 metres at the time of the accident. Moscow saw its first snowfall of the winter on Monday.

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The crash caused a fire outbreak, which was extinguished by airport firefighters.

Moscow transport investigators said they had opened a criminal probe into breaches of aviation safety rules causing multiple deaths through negligence.

French authorities would be invited to take part. The plane’s black boxes had been removed for examination.

The airport resumed normal operations at 1.30am after temporary closure to clear up the scene of the accident.

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