The three men credited with bringing Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant from design to production died in a Russian plane crash Tuesday.
The Israeli tabloid Debka reports that the three men were among the 44 killed in the downing of a Tupolev-134.
The loss of the three men: Sergey Ryzhov, Gennady Banuyk and Nikolay Trunov, is said to be a severe blow to Russian atomic energy programs.
Russian officials are investigating why the men were violating regulations that prohibit more than one high-ranking politician, sensitive-industry executive, or military figure from taking the same flight.
The trio were employed by Moscow company OKB Gidropress which sold five nuclear reactors to five countries, including Iran.
The plane carrying the three men approached its runway in foul weather Tuesday, overshot the runway and burst into flames. The eight survivors, currently in critical condition, will be interviewed to determine what happened aboard the plane before it went down.
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