The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie died in a plane crash at a Moscow airport after his private jet struck a snow plough on takeoff.
Total confirmed the death of the 63-year-old early on Tuesday. Russian investigators said Tuesday the driver of the snowplough was drunk.
“It has been established that the driver of the snowplough was in a drunk state,” the investigating unit said in a statement, adding that a preliminary theory was that “an error by the pilots and the actions of the snowplough driver” were to blame for the deadly accident.
Just hours earlier De Margerie had met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at his country residence outside Moscow to discuss foreign investment in Russia, Vedomosti business daily reported.
The Vnukovo airport said in a statement that the Falcon Dassault business aviation jet crashed as it prepared to take off for Paris with one passenger and three crew on board.
“During run-up at 11:57 pm, 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’s statement said.
The airport said that visibility was at 350 metres at the time of the accident.