Updated 1:45 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Four employees of Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, detained over plane accident which left the CEO of French oil giant Total dead, have been questioned as suspects, the Russian Investigative Committee said Thursday.
“All of them are suspected of failing to ensure compliance with safety rules for flights and airport ground operations, which resulted in a tragedy. The detainees have already been questioned as suspects,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
Police has detained four people – a senior airport engineer, responsible for removal of snow from runways, an air traffic controller trainee and her supervisor, as well as the air traffic controller who was on duty at the time of the tragedy.
The committee is considering a traffic control mistake and the snowplow driver's actions as possible causes of the accident. The driver was detained within 48 hours of the accident and accused of being drunk at the time of the tragedy, but he denied the allegations during an interrogation on Tuesday. His lawyer said the driver did not drink alcohol at all due to the issues with the heart.
Total CEO Christophe de Margerie died when a Falcon 50 business jet he was travelling in hit a snowplow during takeoff and crashed, killing all the four people on board. None of the four people on board, including de Margerie and three crew members, survived in the crash.
Earlier on Thursday, Vnukovo International Airport press service said that the airport's general director Andrei Dyakov and deputy general director Sergei Solntsev resigned after the accident, with some other managerial staff dismissed.