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Owner of Gold’s Gym and his family were in a crashed plane in the Caribbean; they fear there will be no survivors


The authorities of Costa Rica confirmed the presence of German billionaire Rainer Schaller and his family on a plane that crashed into the Caribbean Sea on Friday with six people on board, accident from which two bodies have been recovered and the one that has been described as “unfortunate” by the officials in charge of the search.

A source from the Ministry of Public Security confirmed to AFP that “Schaller, adult male, 53 years old” and five other people appear on the list of occupants of the aircraft that crashed in Caribbean waters off the coast of Limón province. (East).

Also included in the official report are “Schikorsky, an adult woman, 44 years old. Kurreck, an adult male, 40 years old and 2 minors” of German nationality, as well as the Swiss pilot, surnamed Lips (66).

On Saturday, the bodies of a minor and an adult who have not been identified so far were located.

“The head of the OIJ (Judicial Investigation Agency) of Limón indicates that on Saturday the extraction of human remains was achieved, which is the body of a minor and an adult. They have not yet been identified,” he told AFP Soreth Espinoza, from the entity’s press department, who participates in the investigation of the incident.

Several objects were also found, such as bags and backpacks and part of the fuselage of the jet plane, which were taken to a dock in the town of Limón, in the province with the same name.

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In the hot port, about 160 km east of the capital San José, AFP confirmed this Sunday, after 05:00 in the morning (11:00 GMT), that two coastguard service vessels left to continue the operation search that was called off almost 12 hours later.

The task was complicated by bad weather conditions and on Monday “an assessment will be made” to continue if the rain allows it, the government announced.

The search for the aircraft from Mexico began around 6:00 p.m. on Friday (00:00 GMT) after losing contact with the control tower over the Caribbean, near the Barra de Parismina, off the coast of Limón.

“What can be seen at the impact site was very strong, it is unfortunate. We are at the expense of what the sea returns to us and permanently patrolling as long as time reaches us,” Public Security Minister Jorge Torres said on Saturday. which made the possibility of finding survivors vanish.

The accident It happened in the sea 28 kilometers in front of the Limón airport, indicated the vice minister of the institution, Martín Arias.

The McFit Saga and Love Parade

Rainer Schaller was the founder of the McFit gyms and according to the German newspaper Bild, he was traveling with his partner and their two children, as well as another man.

From a sparsely built gym in the German city of Wurzburg in the late 1990s, he built the low-cost fitness chain that is now the largest in Europe.

McFit has 165 rooms in Germany and more than 250 at European level, with a strong presence also in Spain.

According to Business Insider magazine, the autodidact’s idea was to launch “the Aldi of the fitness industry,” referring to the German discount supermarket chain.

With reduced rates, McFit had 1.7 million subscribers before the pandemic.

In 2020, through a commercial coup, it acquired the legendary fitness chain Gold’s Gym founded in 1965, whose most famous gym, in Venice Beach, California, saw celebrities and Hollywood stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Keanu Reeves parade.

Thanks to the purchase of Gold’s, which was in difficulty due to the covid-19 pandemic, the RSG group -until then mainly present in Europe- overnight became a world leader in fitness, with more than 900 rooms on six continents.

But Schaller’s name is not only associated with commercial success.

Become president of the company that ran the world-renowned annual Love Parade electronic music street festival in 2006, Schaller was one of the organizers of the 2010 edition in Duisburg (western Germany), which ended in tragedy: 21 people died and 650 were injured due to a human stampede in one of the access tunnels to the event.

Schaller assumed “moral responsibility” for the catastrophe, whose legal consequences did not lead to any conviction.

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