Updated 12:51 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The Basmanny Court in Moscow has arrested the driver of the snowplow involved in the fatal plane crash of French oil giant Total’s CEO earlier in the week.
The snowplow driver, Vladimir Martynenko, is under investigation for his role in the tragic accident that occurred late Monday night.
Martynenko was detained for 48 hours directly after the accident.
The Russian Investigative Committee claims the snowplow driver was drunk at the time of the accident, but Martynenko denied the allegations during an interrogation earlier on Tuesday.
Total CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the crash of a Falcon 50 business jet late Monday night at Vnukovo-3 Airport. The incident happened when the aircraft, which was to fly to Paris, hit a snow removal vehicle when taking off. De Margerie was the only passenger on board along with three crew members, also French citizens. The crew also died in the crash.
Four Vnukovo Airport employees have been arrested as suspects in connection with the crash. The investigators suspect that they did not observe flight security requirements and failed to conduct ground checks, which later led to the tragedy.
The French Prosecutor's Office has opened a manslaughter inquiry over the incident. Paris has also sent its aviation safety experts to Moscow to take part in deciphering the jet's black box. According to Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee, the deciphering process, which started on Wednesday, is likely to take two to three days.