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Wealthy Russian Businesswoman Dies In German Plane Crash


Natalia Fileva in 2015
Natalia Fileva in 2015

One of Russia’s richest women, S7 Group chairwoman and co-owner Natalia Fileva, has died in a plane crash in southwestern Germany, the S7 airline says.

The airline's press service said on March 31 that Fileva, 55, was aboard a single-engine Epic-LT aircraft that crashed on approach to the small airport at the town of Egelsbach, about 10 kilometers south of Frankfurt.

German police earlier said that there appeared to be three people aboard the six-seater aircraft, including the pilot of the flight.

A statement said that the plane was travelling from France to Egelsbach when it went down in a field on the afternoon of March 31.

The cause of the accident was still unclear.

"After impact, the aircraft was completely burnt out," the police statement said, adding that the passengers will probably only be positively identified in the coming week.

A representative of the Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) is set to travel to the site of the crash on April 1 to "participate in the work of the investigative commission," IAC deputy chief Sergei Zayko told the TASS news agency.

Fileva was listed in 2018 by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine as the fourth richest woman in Russia with an estimated fortune of $600 million. Her husband was S7 CEO Vladislav Filev.

Based at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, S7 is Russia's second-largest airline after Aeroflot, flying to 150 destinations in 35 countries.

"S7 Group team extends sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Fileva's family and loved ones," the company said in a statement. "The memory of her as an inspiring and sympathetic leader and a wonderful person will forever stay in the hearts of all S7 Group employees. It is an irreparable loss."

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and TASS

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