© Screenshot from LIFENEWS video
The driver of the snowplow that caused the Falcon-50 plane crash in Moscow's Vnukovo airport
It was determined in the course of the investigation into the Moscow plane crash that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total that the driver of the snowplow which likely caused the crash was drunk.

"It has been determined that the driver of the snowplow was under the influence of alcohol," head of Russia's Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told the reporters on Tuesday.

Markin added that "there is a possibility that a number of airport staff will be suspended from carrying out their duties pending criminal investigation."

During the taxiing before take-off, at around Midnight Moscow time on Tuesday, the Falcon 50 business jet hit a snow-clearing machine. Although previous reports indicated otherwise, the plane did not leave ground following the collision.

The CEO of France's oil and gas giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, was the only passenger in the jet, while three crewmembers who were also French citizens perished as well.
A criminal investigation has been launched into possible violation of safe-driving regulations involving an aircraft, resulting in the death of two or more persons.

"Some of the main theories being investigated at this time are a mistake by air traffic control and the actions of the snowplow driver. Bad weather conditions and the possibility of a mistake by the pilot will also be considered," Markin said.

The black boxes have been uncovered and are being processed at this time.

Investigators are also examining technical documentation and testing fuel samples, according to Markin.
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He added that "the scene is being investigated with the help of representatives from the International Aviation Committee" and that "staffers are being questioned at this time."

"Owing to the gravity of the matter of the Falcon-300 crash in Vnukovo," the spokesman for the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin will personally hold a meeting with the investigative group and airport personnel, according to Markin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences over the Total CEO's death. TASS cited his spokesman as saying that "Vladimir Putin has long known de Margerie and had a close working relationship with him."

"The president highly appreciated de Mergerie's business skills, his continued commitment to the development of not only bilateral Russian-French relations but also on multifaceted levels," Peskov also said.