SAN JOSÉ (HPD) — Rescue services in Costa Rica are searching the Caribbean Sea for the remains of a plane that disappeared from radar overnight Friday with five German passengers and a Swiss pilot.
According to the Ministry of Security, it is the German millionaire Rainer Schaller, 53, owner of the gym chain McFit.
The businessman was traveling in the company of his girlfriend Christiane Schikorsky, 44, Markus Kurreck, 40, and two minors, one of them Schaller’s son, Aaron, six years old; in addition to the pilot surnamed Lips, of Swiss nationality.
The Minister of Security of Costa Rica, Jorge Torres, confirmed the disappearance of the plane registration D-IRSG P180 near the area of Barra de Parismina, in the northeast of the country.
“Around six in the afternoon we received an alert about a private flight from Mexico to the Limón airport, this aircraft was traveling with five passengers of German nationality,” the minister reported.
The Air Surveillance and Coast Guard Service began the search for the aircraft at night, but they had to suspend due to bad weather.
The search was resumed early on Saturday and the discovery of the first remains was confirmed 28 kilometers (17 miles) from the Limón airport, over the sea.
“Remains were located that apparently indicate that it is the aircraft. At the moment we have not located bodies with life or without life of the possible crew members”, reported the Vice Minister of Security, Martín Arias.
Rainer 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.
Schaller was in the news in 2010 for his role as organizer of the Berlin Love Parade techno festival. A crowd at the event killed 21 people and left more than 500 injured. At the time, authorities said Schaller’s security personnel were unable to stem the flow of people into a tunnel when the situation was already tense at the entrance to the festival site.
Schaller rejected the accusations of wrongdoing and asserted that his security concept had received official approval from the city authorities.