SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Six people, apparently including a German business magnate, were feared dead on Saturday after a small plane crashed off the Costa Rican coast in the Caribbean.
According to Security Minister Jorge Torres, all five passengers are German citizens. The pilot of the plane was Swiss.
Costa Rican authorities said pieces of the twin-engine turboprop plane were found in the water on Saturday after the flight disappeared on Friday.
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.
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 indicating that this is the aircraft,” Arias said. “So far we have not found any bodies dead or alive.”
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.
Security Secretary Torres said the flight had departed from Mexico.
“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.
Rainer Schaller 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.
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