The first version of the Prigozhin accident broadcast by his Telegram channel speaks of an attack and names a suspect

Transfer of a body bag from the place where a private plane crashed, near the town of Kuzhenkino, in the Tver region (AP Photo) (Uncredited /)

The Telegram channel linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin released its first version on Thursday about the crash of the plane in which the mercenary leader would have died, referring to a suspected explosive device in the ship.

“It was in the area of ​​the landing gear where the explosion occurred in the sky. As a result, the wing was torn off, which hit the stabilizer, causing the business jet to sharply gain altitude and then spiral into it,” the broadcast channel stated.

The text, which attributes the information to the media, indicates that this hypothesis may explain why part of the plane’s tail fell several kilometers from the fuselage, since the board would have begun to unravel in the air.

The channel also targeted a suspect. As he indicated, it is a personal pilot of Prigozhin, Artem Stepanovwho would be wanted.

The Russian air transport agency Rosaviatsia reported that Prigozhin – who revolted against the Russian General Staff in June – and nine other people were on board the crashed plane when it was traveling from Moscow to Saint Petersburg.

The wing fell several meters from the fuselage (Reuters)
The wing fell several meters from the fuselage (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

According to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, “all people on board died.”

Residents of the area who observed the crash of the plane reported that they heard a crash before the plane crashed to the ground near the town of Kuzhenkino, in the Russian region of Tver.

Vitaly Stepenok, 72, a resident of Kuzhenkino, told Reuters: “I have heard an explosion or a crash. Normally if there’s an explosion on the ground you’ll hear an echo, but it was just a bang and I looked up and saw white smoke.”.

A wing flew off in one direction and the fuselage went like thishe said, gesturing with his arms to show the plane heading toward the ground.

“And then it slid down on one wing. It wasn’t plummeting, it was gliding”.

Standing on a village street, Stepenok said he feared the plane would hit the town’s houses.

“I was there. I jumped on my bike and I arrived (at the place) in about 20 minutes. everything was on fire. There were people walking. They pulled someone out, their remains. (…) I couldn’t make it out. I only saw the number of the plane, which I told them, and that was it.”

Another villager, who gave his name as Anatoly, said: “As for what could have happened, I’ll just say this: it wasn’t thunder, it was a metallic crashLet’s put it like this. I’ve heard things like that before.”

Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal investigation. Some anonymous sources told Russian media that they believed the plane had been brought down by one or more surface-to-air missiles. Reuters could not confirm it.

(With information from Reuters)

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