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Gazprom Employee Involved in Fatal Drunk Driving Accident

A Gazprom employee with the same last name as the company's founder was involved in a fatal car accident, possibly while drunk, news reports said.

News of the accident first reached the public on Tuesday, when head of traffic safety Sergei Kanayev reported the incident on his Twitter blog and accused the media and traffic police of concealing information.

The incident occurred on the M1 highway on Sept. 13, when a BMW 650 traveling at top speed collided with a Ford that had slowed down due to road construction. The impact killed the driver of the Ford on the spot, reported.

A woman identifying herself as the widow of the deceased wrote to the traffic safety center on Sept. 21 complaining that a criminal case had not yet been filed and claiming that the BMW driver was an employee of Gazprom named Sergei Chernomyrdin.

"According to witnesses, he was extremely drunk. They brought him to the Odintsovskaya hospital, where lawyers picked him up. They didn't manage to do a blood analysis, so there is no documentation of alcohol intoxication," the woman wrote.

Kanayev contacted Gazprom and was informed that the company employs two people bearing that name, but could not confirm whether one of them was in fact the grandson of founder Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Journalists from a number of television channels refused to report the incident, Kanayev said, as did radio station Ekho Moskvy, which is owned by Gazprom.

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