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Court sanctions arrest of second suspect in Moscow jet crash case

October 24, 2014, 13:23 UTC+3

Alexander Kruglov was detained on suspicion of his involvement in the Falcon jet carsh that killed Total CEO Cristophe de Margerie and three other people

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Alexander Kruglov

Alexander Kruglov

© Ilya Pitalyov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. A Moscow court on Friday sanctioned the arrest of air traffic controller Alexander Kruglov, a suspect in the Total CEO's jet crash in Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

Kruglov will remain in custody for at least two months, until December 21.

Alexander Kruglov was detained on suspicion of his involvement in the Falcon jet carsh that killed Total CEO Cristophe de Margerie and three other people. In the court, Kruglov pleaded not guilty.

One of the lawyers said that earlier Kruglov had helped avert another air crash. “He timely saw the engine fire of a passenger jet and did not allow the take-off. Thus, he saved lives of more than 200 people,” the lawyer said.

During the take-off at Vnukovo on Monday, October 20, at 11:57pm local time, the four-seat Dassault Falcon business jet, en route to Paris, collided with a snowplow, caught fire and fell onto the runway. Among the four people killed in the crash were two pilots, a flight attendant and French oil giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie. All those killed were French nationals.

First suspect arrested

A Moscow court on Thursday arrested the prime suspect in the case. Vladimir Martynenko, a snowplow operator who allegedly caused the crash of the French Falcon jet, has arrested until December 21.

The court ruled in favor of the prosecution after preliminary medical examination results were announced that Martynenko was drunk at the moment of the crash.

Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman said the level of alcohol found in Martynenko's blood was 0,6 per mille.

Fatal jet crash investigation

The field stage of the Falcon jet crash investigation was completed on Thursday. A chief investigator with the Interstate Aviation Committee reported the results of the field stage.

The crew of the French Falcon jet that crashed in Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Monday night noticed the snowplow just 14 seconds before takeoff.

A trainee air traffic controller supervised by instructor was guiding Falcon at Vnukovo before crash. All systems of Falcon jet were properly functioning until crash.

The collision of the snowplow and Falcon jet occurred on an intersection of runway strips. The runway strip was free when takeoff authorization was given. Falcon's speed was about 250 km/h when it crashed with the snowplow.

All fragments of the jet have been collected from the crash site. A thorough examination of the fuselage, collected fragments and fuel is still to be conducted.

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