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3 bodies found in plane crash that killed Russian tycoon

3 bodies found in plane crash that killed Russian tycoon
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A person investigates the debris of a small plane at an asparagus field in the village Erzhausen near Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, April 1, 2019. (Boris Roessler / dpa via AP)

Published Monday, April 1, 2019 8:40AM EDT

Last Updated Monday, April 1, 2019 11:07AM EDT

BERLIN -- German authorities on Monday recovered the bodies of three people, including one of Russia s richest women, who were killed in a small plane crash near Frankfurt a day earlier.

Russian airline S7 Group said co-owner Natalia Fileva was aboard the single-engine, six-seat Epic LT aircraft that crashed and burned Sunday afternoon in a field as it approached the small airport at the German town of Egelsbach near Frankfurt.

The business publication Forbes.ru has estimated Fileva s fortune at $600 million.

Russian news reports said Fileva, who co-owned S7 with her husband, was travelling with her father. German police have said there were two Russian citizens on board but haven t provided any positive identification of the victims yet.

The plane took off from the Mediterranean city of Cannes, a popular holiday destination for rich Russians on the glitzy French Riviera.

The cause of the crash remained unclear on Monday. Knut Happel, a spokesman for prosecutors in Darmstadt, said investigators hope for evidence from witnesses and the burnt-out wreckage itself but, given the state of the plane, it will probably take "some time" to establish.

The Moscow-based Interstate Aviation Committee, which investigates crashes involving planes from Russia and other ex-Soviet nations, said in a statement that it sent a group of experts to help the German investigation.

With a base at Moscow s Domodedovo Airport, S7 is part of the Oneworld alliance and flies to 150 destinations in 35 countries, using 56 Airbus planes and 23 aircraft from Boeing. Fileva s husband, Vladislav Filev, is chair of the company s board of directors, according to the company s third-quarter 2018 financial statement.

Epic Aircraft, a Bend, Oregon-based company that developed the Epic LT, didn t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The burnt out debris of a small aircraft lies on a field near the small airport of Egelsbach near Frankfurt, Germany, on March 31, 2019. (Michael Probst / AP)

In this photo taken on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, S7 Group co-owner Natalia Fileva attends a meeting in Novosibirsk, Russia. (Valery Titievsky/Kommersant Photo via AP) RUSSIA OUT
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