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Snowplow Mechanic Pleads Guilty in 2014 Aircraft Accident Killing Total CEO

© Sputnik / Alexander Astafyev / Go to the mediabankVnukovo Airport's new runway
Vnukovo Airport's new runway - Sputnik International
One of the key suspects in a court case on the death of France’s Total oil and gas giant’s CEO, Christophe de Margerie, in October 2014 has pled guilty, the suspect’s lawyer, Alexander Karabanov, said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Vladimir Martynenko, a snow clearance mechanic at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, apparently was unable to hear directions over the radio when clearing snow from the airport’s runway when de Margerie’s private jet slammed into the snowplow he was driving.

“Martynenko has pled his full guilt, noting that because of faulty radio contact he did not hear the signal and began returning [back to the tarmac] and crossed the runway,” Karabanov told RIA Novosti.

Christophe de Margerie - Sputnik International
Russian Investigative Committee Concludes Probe Into Total CEO's Death
The plane, which was scheduled to fly to Paris, crashed during takeoff. De Margerie was the only passenger on board the crashed aircraft. Three French crew members also died in the crash.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, Martynenko was operating the snowplow in violation of the runway rules due to the absence of oversight by senior shift engineer Vladimir Ledenev. Violations on the part of air-traffic controllers on duty are also among the causes of the crash.

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