The German fitness-studio tycoon who owns Gold’s Gym is among those feared dead after a small plane crashed off of Costa Rica on Friday.
Businessman Rainer Schaller, who owns Gold’s and other chains, was listed as one of six people onboard a private jet that went down while traveling from Mexico to Limon, local reports said.
Schaller’s partner, Christiane Schikorsky, their children and a fitness trainer were also passengers on the flight, piloted by a Swiss national, reports said.
Costa Rican authorities said Saturday they located the aircraft wreckage in the ocean 17 miles from Limon airport. Two bodies, along with luggage have been recovered but the bodies haven’t been identified yet.
“We have recovered some pieces of the plane that were washed in by the tide, and two bodies,“ said Public Security Minister Jorge Torres, AFP reported.
The plane was a nine-seat Italian-made Piaggio P180 Avanti, which lost communication with the control tower near Barra de Parismina close to Limon around 6 p.m. according to Costa Rican officials.
Schaller is listed as the founder and CEO of the RSG Group which operates 21 global gym chains and lifestyle brands including Gold’s Gym, McFit and John Reed. RSG acquired Gold’s Gym in 2020 after it filed for bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conglomerate operates in 48 countries and has 41,000 employees, either directly or through franchises.
Schaller made international headlines in 2010 as organizer of the Berlin Love Parade techno festival after a crowd crush killed 21 people and injured over 500 others at the event.
German authorities accused Schaller’s security of failing to stop a flow of people in a tunnel to the festival grounds.
With Post Wires