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31 Mar, 2019 18:52

One of Russia's richest women, co-owner of biggest private airline dies in plane crash in Germany

One of Russia's richest women, co-owner of biggest private airline dies in plane crash in Germany

Russia’s fourth richest woman, Natalia Fileva, who chaired the executive board of S7 Airlines, has died in a crash of a small plane near Frankfurt, Germany, which took the lives of a pilot and another passenger as well.

A six-seater airplane with Fileva on board took off from France and was en route to the central German town of Egelsbach when it crashed in a field near the town of Erzhausen, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Frankfurt, police said, adding that at least three people, including the pilot, were on board. The identity of the other person who accompanied Fileva is still unclear, with some reports suggesting her father was on the plane. 

Natalia was the wife of Vladislav Filev, the CEO and co-owner of S7 Airlines – Russia’s biggest private airline holding company. Her personal wealth amounted to $600 million. The couple have four children, including one adopted child.

The company confirmed Fileva’s death to Russian business daily, Vedomosti. “The S7 Group team expresses deepest condolences to [her] family and loved ones,” the airline’s statement said. Fileva was 55.

Russian specialists will take part in the investigation of the tragedy. So far German media reported that the pilot had not notified aviation authorities of any malfunctions during the flight.

The American, Epic E1000 turboprop light aircraft apparently crashed into the ground as it was preparing to make a landing at Egelsbach airport. The plane was destroyed and completely burnt out as it hit the ground, according to police. The debris is scattered around an area of a 20 meter-radius.

A police car that rushed to the scene following the crash was involved in a road accident, which resulted in the deaths of two more people and left three officers seriously injured, a police spokeswoman confirmed to German media. A private vehicle moving in the opposite direction to the police car made an unfortunate overtaking maneuver that resulted in a head-on collision with the police vehicle.

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