The CEO of France's Total Oil company, was killed in Moscow on Monday night, when his private jet hit a snowplow on the runway. The Russian operator of the snowplow was allegedly intoxicated.
Dassault Falcon 50 (by Steven Byles, Flickr / CC Commercial License)
Officials at Vnukovo airport said the plane carrying Total Oil CEO Christophe de Margerie was landing shortly before midnight, with less than a quarter-mile of visibility. The wing of the Dassault Falcon 50 business jet he was in struck a snowplow that was on the runway, and became engulfed by flames.
All four people on the plane were killed.
The office of French President Francois Hollande issued a statement, saying:
Christophe de Margerie dedicated his life to French industry and to building up the Total group. He made it into one of the very top global companies. Francois Hollande cherished Christophe de Margerie's independent character, original personality and his devotion to his country.
Investigators are also questioning the air traffic controllers at the airport, to see if or why the plane was cleared to land under the circumstances. It's an unfortunate coincidence that this happened during one of the world's largest business aviation conventions, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention, in Orlando, Florida.
Top image: Christophe de Margerie (AP Images)