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CEO Of Oil Giant Total Killed In Plane Crash At Moscow Airport

The 63-year-old CEO of Europe's third largest oil company, Total, died in a plane accident at a Moscow airport on Tuesday.

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Christophe de Margerie and three other French citizens died when a private jet collided with a snow-clearing machine at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, officials said Tuesday. The snowplow driver was reportedly drunk at the time of the collision.

"Tonight, a plane crashed when it collided with a snow-clearing machine. Three crew members and a passenger died. I can confirm that the passenger was Total's head de Margerie," airport spokeswoman Elena Krylova said.

De Margerie, who was nicknamed "Big Mustache," started with Total in 1974 at their finance department and became CEO of the French company in February 2007. He had worked extensively for Total in the Middle East.

Total released the following statement confirming the death of de Margerie and four others:

"Total confirms with deep regret and great sadness that Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie died just after 10pm (Paris time) on October 20 in a private plane crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow, following a collision with a snow removal machine.

Five people were found dead at the scene of the accident, including three crew members, the driver of the snow removal machine and Christophe de Margerie.

The thoughts of the management and employees of the Group go out to Christophe de Margerie's wife, children and loved ones as well as to the families of the four other victims."

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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