Criminal negligence caused the plane crash at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport that resulted in the death of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, Russian investigators have said.
Christophe de Margerie died along with three crew members when his corporate jet collided with a snow plough.
Federal investigators said that the driver of the snow plough was drunk.
Investigators also said that “negligent” managers at the airport had failed to co-ordinate the actions of their employees.
The Investigations Committee of Russia, a federal agency which answers to President Vladimir Putin, is investigating the crash.
“It is already obvious that the cause of the events was not at all a horrific tragic confluence of circumstances, which is how representatives of the airport are trying to present it, but criminal negligence by officials who could not ensure the coordinated actions of airport employees,” said committee spokesman Vladimir Markin.
Several officials at the airport were likely to be suspended, according to Vladimir Markin.
Russia’s transport regulator is also investigating the crash, which it said happened in “bad visibility”.
Christophe de Margerie’s jet had been due to fly to Paris from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport.
Vnukovo is located south-west of Moscow and is used by President Vladimir Putin and other government officials.
Pictures from the scene show the driver of the snow plough looking shocked, but walking unaided and without any obvious serious injury.
Christophe de Margerie, 63, had been chief executive of Europe’s third largest oil company since 2007. He was highly regarded within the oil industry.
According to Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper, Christophe de Margerie had met Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev at his country residence outside Moscow to discuss foreign investment in Russia.
Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Russia and is planning to double its output from the country by 2020.
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