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    CEO of oil giant Total dies in Moscow plane crash

    October 21, 2014

    The Chief Executive of French oil major Total, Christophe de Margerie, was killed at a Moscow airport when his corporate jet collided with a snowplough whose driver was drunk, reported The Hindu quoting Russian investigators to have said on Tuesday (21).

    Total confirmed “with deep regret and sadness” that Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the crash at Moscow’s Vnukoko airport.


    The three other people on board, all of them French crew members, also died when the Dassault Falcon 50 crashed into the snowplough on takeoff at 11.57 pm (local time) on Monday.


    The driver, who airport officials said was not hurt, was operating the snowplough under the influence of alcohol, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Russia’s main investigative agency.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended his condolences, his spokesman said.


    “Vladimir Putin had known de Margerie for a long time and had maintained close working contact with him,” Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. “The President highly valued the business qualities of de Margerie, as well as his staunch commitment both to the cause of promoting Russian-French relations and their mutually beneficial diverse cooperation in general.”


    French President Francois Hollande expressed his “stupor and sadness” at the news. In a statement, Mr. Hollande praised de Margerie for defending French industry on the global stage, and for his “independent character and original personality.” (KH)

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