Gold’s Gym owner fears dead after plane crash off Costa Rica, 5 others also on board
Gold’s Gym owner Rainer Schaller, his family and two others are believed to have died after a plane they were traveling in apparently crashed off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica on Friday, officials said.
The Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security posted on Facebook on Friday that a plane heading from Mexico to Limon, Costa Rica, lost contact with the control tower at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria International Airport around 6 p.m. , local time (8 p.m. ET) while flying. on the northeast area of Parismina off the country’s Caribbean coast.
CNN was given access to a copy of the flight manifest by the Department of Public Safety. Schaller, a German national and business tycoon, along with four other German nationals and a pilot, were on board the private flight on Friday, according to the manifesto. Among the German nationals were Schaller’s partner, Christiane Schikorsky, and two minors.
According to Martin Arias, the vice president of the Ministry of Public Security, the Coast Guard conducted a search operation in the Caribbean Sea starting at 5 a.m. local time on Saturday and at 5:50 a.m. Remains of a plane were found 28 kilometers from Limon airport in Costa Rica.
Arias said the Red Cross has been asked to help with search and rescue operations.
Costa Rican Public Security Minister Jorge Torres Carillo tweeted on his verified account on Saturday that the private plane was carrying a « foreign crew » and that two bodies were found.
The German Foreign Ministry told CNN it is aware of the situation and the German embassy in the Costa Rican capital of San José is in contact with local authorities for further clarification.
« The embassy is also ready to provide consular assistance to the families of those affected, » the German foreign ministry said.
Schaller is the founder and CEO of RSG Group, which includes fitness studios McFit, John Reed and Gold’s Gym.