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French experts in Moscow to aid investigation into Total air crash


France

French experts in Moscow to aid investigation into Total air crash

A team of French experts has arrived in Moscow to help the Russian inquiry into the airport crash that killed the head of the energy giant Total.

Christophe de Margerie and three crew members died when their business jet collided with a snowplough on the runway.

The experts include three members of the French air investigation agency (BEA), two representatives from Dassault – manufacturers of the Falcon 50 jet – and two officials from the charter service Unijet.

“We will maybe help them (the Russian investigators) to read out recorders, or to understand what was said by the pilot for example, because he was speaking French. We can provide any technical data from the aircraft. We have a technical advisor from Dassault or from the operator. So we are here just to provide any information which might be useful for the investigation, for the Russian investigation,” said one of the experts, from the BEA investigation agency.

Investigators in Moscow have said airport managers were negligent and the snowplough driver was drunk.

But his lawyer claims the driver was following instructions from air traffic control, and says according to his relatives he never drank alcohol.

The actions of air traffic controllers and the flight crew are also being examined.

Christophe de Margerie had been in Moscow for a top level meeting involving government officials and others about foreign investment in Russia.

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