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Moscow jet crash flight recorders not to be opened before French experts arrive

October 21, 2014, 16:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW October, 21. /TASS
Further work to investigate the plane crash that killed four people, including Total CEO, will be conducted in close cooperation with French experts
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View of Moscow's Vnukovo airport

View of Moscow's Vnukovo airport

© TASS/Sergey Savostyanov

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The Interstate Aviation Committee has decided not to open the flight recorders from the Falcon jet before specialists from France arrive, an IAC source said on Tuesday.

Further work to investigate the plane crash will be conducted in close cooperation with French colleagues, the source said.

The French Air Accident Bureau (BEA) has sent its experts to Moscow who will join the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) investigating the circumstances of the death of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.

A team of three investigators is due to arrive in Russia soon, the Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday.

The Paris Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case into “involuntary manslaughter” following the tragic death of the Total CEO.

The Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee, overseeing management of civil aviation in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), has already retrieved the flight data recorders, which are to be sent to its scientific and technical center.

The Interstate Aviation Committee experts are currently examining the crash scene and questioning the employees of the airport.

Total CEO dies in jet crash in Moscow

During the takeoff at Moscow airport Vnukovo at 7.57pm GMT on Monday, the four-seat Dassault Falcon business jet, en route to Paris, collided with a snowplow, caught fire and fell onto the runway.

France’s oil giant Total CEO de Margerie, two pilots and a flight attendant, all of them French citizens, died in the crash. French investigators said the plane was operated by Unijet, a French business jet charter service.

The driver of the snowplow, confirmed as drunk at the time of the accident, has been detained for 48 hours. Investigators will seek a court ruling on his arrest.

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