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Top airport officials resign after fatal crash of French jet in Moscow

October 23, 2014, 10:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Director General of Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport and his deputy resigned following the jet crash that Monday killed four people, among them Total CEO Christophe de Margerie
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Entrance gate of Vnukovo-3 airport

Entrance gate of Vnukovo-3 airport

© EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Director General of Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, Andrey Dyakov, and his deputy Sergey Solntsev have handed in their resignation following the fatal Falcon jet crash, the Vnukovo press service said on Thursday.

“The resignation of the Vnukovo managers has been accepted,” the press service said.

The airport’s shift director, the head of maintenance division of the aerodrome and the leading engineer who heads the shift have been also suspended from duties, the statement said.

“The Vnukovo airport on its part is doing everything for the speedy and unbiased investigation of the air accident,” the press service said.

The airport provides all the necessary information and ensures unhampered access to the tragedy scene to the services and agencies involved in the investigation.

“Vnukovo is ready to provide comprehensive assistance in the investigation,” the statement says.

The airport continues operating in a normal regime and makes every effort to provide services to the passengers and the air companies.

A spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee said earlier on Thursday that four staff members of the Vnukovo airport have been detained on suspicion of their duties’ negligence in regard to crash.

During the takeoff at Vnukovo airport on Monday night, the Dassault Falcon business jet, bound for Paris, collided with a snowplow, caught fire and fell onto the runway.

Among the four people killed in the crash are two pilots, a flight attendant and French oil giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie. All killed in the crash were French nationals.

The main suspect

Vladimir Martynenko, the operator of the snowplow that caused the crash, was also earlier detained for the period of 48 hours. According to media reports, Martynenko, who emerged unhurt from the incident, was reportedly under alcoholic influence, while he himself acknowledged that he had a cup of coffee with cognac in it before his shift.

According to Martynenko’s lawyer Alexander Karabanov, the snowplow operator had an over 10-year spotless career at the airport without any reprimands and was reportedly following all instructions at the time of the incident.

“He [Martynenko] emerged without a scratch after such tragedy, but since he might have sustained hidden traumas I asked the investigation to subject him to medical examination,” Karabanov said.

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