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Russian investigators wrap up Sheremetyevo Superjet crash case against pilot

Investigators have reportedly wrapped up an investigation into the criminal case regarding the Sheremetyevo Airport crash against the captain of Sukhoi Superjet-100, Denis Yevdokimov.

The SSJ-100, operated by Aeroflot, was bound for Murmansk from Sheremetyevo Airport on May 5. Approximately 30 minutes after departure, it returned to the airport, made an emergency landing and burst into flames. There were 73 passengers and five crewmembers onboard the plane. Forty-one people were killed and 10 were injured.

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The authorities are charging Yevdokimov with improper operation of the plane’s control during landing. He pleads not guilty to violating security regulations. Reinvestigation request filed by the defense of the pilot has been turned down, lawyer Natalya Mitusova said.

The chief of the Main Forensics Directorate at Russia’s Investigative Committee, Zigmund Lozhis, said earlier that most fatalities on board the SSJ-100 were due not to the impact, but to choking with hazardous fumes from burning plastics, TASS reported.