Wreckage of Prigozhin’s plane was scattered across roughly 4 miles, and experts say it looks like an explosion knocked it out of the sky – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Wreckage of Prigozhin’s plane was scattered across roughly 4 miles, and experts say it looks like an explosion knocked it out of the sky

Portrait of Yevgeny Prigozhin next to his supposed plane crash that he died in

Reuters

Experts are zeroing in on a theory around a plane crash that Russia says killed Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Aviation experts have said that the plane’s debris fields are not indicative of mechanical failures.
According to CNN, fragments of Prigozhin’s plane were scattered throughout a 4-mile radius. 

Fragments of the plane said to be carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin were found spread throughout approximately four miles of field and forest in Russia pointing to a possibility that an explosion rocked the plane in its final moments.

On Wednesday, Russian state media reported the boss of the Wagner mercenary group was among 10 passengers who died after their business jet crashed in the Tver region outside of Moscow. On the same day, Russia’s aviation agency claimed that Prigozhin was on the passenger list for the flight.

The crash has become a new focal point in Russia’s war on Ukraine because Prigozhin had challenged Putin earlier in the summer, going from friend to foe after mounting a short-lived mutiny with his Wagner Group troops.

On Friday, Russian telegram channels were flooded with content coming out of Kuzhenkino, a village 215 miles from Moscow where locals shared photos of a wing in a river, fuselage, and other debris fields from Prigozhin’s plane spread out in at least four locations, according to CNN. 

The outlet RIA Novosti shared a video, saying that it showed the airplane in descent before it hit the ground. Insider has been unable to verify pictures and videos emanating from the crash site. 

Experts who analyzed footage of the plane’s rapid descent — where a wing can be seen falling off of the plane — and the layout of the scattered debris field, said that the possibility of a mechanical failure on board was highly unlikely at this point.

Analyzing the wreckage

“It is very difficult to understand what happened without a proper investigation,” Daniel Kwasi Adjekum, an aviation expert at the University of North Dakota, told CNN. “The aircraft has suffered serious catastrophic inflight break up.”

Russian investigators have moved forward with collecting plane fragments and DNA in their investigation. 

Investigators also said that they had recovered flight recorders, which tracks audio and flight performance data for airplanes, per The Washington Post.  So far, flight data from Flightradar24 also paints a patchy picture, showing Prigozhin’s plane steeply dropping 8,000 feet in the last 30 seconds of the flight.

Robert Schmucker, a rocket expert who works with NATO, also told CNN that the manner in which the plane plummeted down from the sky was highly suspicious.

“Neither bad servicing nor pilot error would have the effect we’ve seen, namely the wing falling off and there appearing to be an explosion in the sky,” Schmucker said. “Planes such as this one don’t just fall out of the sky.”

An expert on projectiles and missiles told CNN that videos purporting to show the crash offer telltale signs that refute the theory that the plane had an operational failure.

“The plane’s tail and wing can only have been separated from the plane by an explosion,” Markus Schiller, a missile expert based in Europe told CNN. “It remains unclear whether this was a bomb on the plane or a missile, but the tail and wing can’t have fallen off any other way.”

At the outset of a fair investigation into a plane crash, Anthony Brickhouse, a former investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board and an associate professor in applied aviation sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told Insider that investigators look to secure the “four corners,” of the plane early on — the tail, nose, and two wings — and if they are in close proximity in a crash site, it would likely point to a mechanical failure. 

“If you get to the crash site and you have those four things, it’s a good indication that the aircraft was together when it impacted the ground,” Brickhouse previously told Insider. Currently, it is unclear if the four corners were recovered.

By Friday, Russian Telegram outlet E112News, shared footage that appeared to show Russian investigators, some in camouflage, haphazardly pulling plane fragments out of the forest with chains, per the Post. 

Experts rally around the theory that an explosion rocked the plane

Since the crash, experts have quickly moved away from the idea of a mechanical failure and coalesced around the theory that an explosion was set off on the plane, causing it to disintegrate in the air — and possibly leading to the large, multiple debris fields. 

On Thursday, a Pentagon spokesperson said that there was no information yet supporting the prospect that a surface-to-air missile struck the aircraft, according to Reuters. 

According to the AP, the primary theory among Western intelligence sources is that a bomb planted on the plane exploded in mid-air, causing the crash. Another theory US officials are looking at is whether the plane’s fuel source had been contaminated, according to the New York Times. 

UK defense sources told the BBC that the FSB, Russia’s security agency, may have been behind the crash. 

Putin, for his part, has mostly kept mum, but he broke his silence on Thursday amid rumors swirling that he was behind Prigozhin’s purported crash. 

“First of all, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of all the victims, this is always a tragedy,” Putin said during televised remarks made at the Kremlin, according to CNN. “I’ve known Prigozhin for a long time, since the early ’90s. He was a man of complicated fate and he made serious mistakes in his life.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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