CEO of oil giant Total killed in crash after jet hits snow plough on take-off
The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie has died after a private jet crashed at a Moscow airport, Russian media reported Tuesday citing aviation and law enforcement sources.
De Margerie, was reportedly among five people killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snowplough on take-off.
“There was one passenger registered on the plane, French citizen Christophe de Margerie. The three crew members were also French citizens. They all died,” the TASS news agency cited an aviation source as saying.
The fifth casualty was the snowplough driver, transport official Tatyana Morozova told the Russian Information Agency (RIA).
The Interfax news agency cited a police source as saying one of the dead was a top executive at Total.
LifeNews reported that during take-off at around 0.10am Moscow time on Tuesday (4.10am Singapore time) , the light aircraft, according to preliminary data, hit a snow-clearing machine with its landing gear.
Due to the damage, the pilot reportedly decided to turn back and land.
While still in the air, the plane was sending distress signals and reporting an engine fire and fuselage damage, LifeNews reports. Upon crashing on the runway, the aircraft was immediately engulfed in flames, killing everyone on board.
There was no immediate response from Total in France, who were contacted by AFP.
“A criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety regulations after a light aircraft crash in the capital's Vnukovo airport,” Morozova told RIA.
An investigative group is working at the crash site, Morozova added.
Source: AFP, RT News, LifeNews