Six people, apparently including the German businessman behind Gold’s Gym, were feared dead on Saturday after a small plane crashed off the Costa Rican coast in the Caribbean.
All five passengers are said to be German citizens, Security Minister Jorge Torres said. The pilot of the plane was Swiss.
A flight plan filed for the small charter aircraft listed Rainer Schaller as a passenger. A man of the same name runs international chains of fitness and gym stores, including Gold’s Gym and McFit.
At least one other of those on board the plane appeared to be a relative of Schaller, but the relationship was not immediately confirmed by authorities.
Costa Rican authorities said pieces of the twin-engine turboprop plane were found in the water on Saturday after the flight disappeared on Friday.
This handout photo shows the personal effects of flight passengers recovered in Caribbean waters, along with pieces of a twin-engine turboprop aircraft, in Limon, Costa Rica, Saturday, October 22, 2022
Six people, apparently including a German business magnate, were feared dead on Saturday after the small plane crashed just off the Costa Rican coast in the Caribbean.
This handout photo shows an item found while searching for a small plane that crashed off the coast of Costa Rica on the eve of the evening, taken in Limon, on October 22, 2022
Martín Arias, Costa Rica’s assistant security minister, said no bodies had yet been found at the site, about 28 kilometers offshore from Limon airport.
“Evidence has been found to indicate that this is the plane,” Arias said. “We haven’t found any dead or living bodies so far.”
The aircraft was an Italian-made nine-seat Piaggio P180 Avanti, known for its distinctive profile.
The plane disappeared from the radar as it made its way to Limon, a seaside resort town.
The security secretary said the flight had departed from Mexico.
This handout photo released by the Costa Rican Department of Public Security shows items found during the search for a small plane that crashed off the coast of Costa Rica on Oct. 22, taken in Limon, on Oct. 22 2022
Wreckage found Saturday in the Caribbean Sea off Costa Rica may be part of a small plane carrying five German nationals that disappeared the night before, Costa Rican officials said.
At least one other of those on board the plane appeared to be a relative of Schaller’s, but the relationship was not immediately confirmed by authorities.
Schaller is listed as “Founder, Owner and CEO of the RSG Group,” a conglomerate of 21 fitness, lifestyle and fashion brands that operates in 48 countries and has 41,000 employees, either directly or through franchises
“Around 6 pm we received a report about a flight from Mexico to Limon airport with five German passengers on board,” Torres said. A search was immediately launched, but was temporarily halted due to bad weather.
Schaller is listed as “Founder, Owner and CEO of the RSG Group,” a conglomerate of 21 fitness, lifestyle and fashion brands that operates in 48 countries and has 41,000 employees, either directly or through franchises.
He made headlines in 2010 for his role as organizer of the Love Parade techno festival in Berlin. A crush on the event killed 21 people and injured more than 500. Authorities said at the time Schaller security was unable to stop the flow of people into a tunnel when the situation was already tense at the entrance to the festival site.
Schaller fought back the allegations of misconduct, noting that his security concept received official approval from the city.