German billionaire’s remains identified after Caribbean crash

The remains of German billionaire Rainer Schaller and his son have been identified after their plane crashed in the Caribbean last month, his company RSG said Friday.

The small plane — carrying six people — took off from Mexico on October 21 and dropped from the radar as it was trying to land at an airport in the eastern Costa Rican province of Limon.

The next day, the remains of an adult and a minor were found 28 kilometres (17 miles) off Limon’s coast, as were several parts of the aircraft fuselage and personal belongings like bags and backpacks.

“It is with great dismay that we have received the sad certainty that our founder Rainer Schaller and his son have been identified as the deceased of the plane crash in Costa Rica,” RSG said Friday.

“His life partner, her daughter, our colleague and the pilot, who were also on board, are still among the missing.”

Schaller was the founder of McFit gym chain. All the passengers were of German nationality while the pilot was Swiss.

Costa Rican authorities on Tuesday ended the search for the plane after 11 days “as no more evidence has been found”.

Starting in 1997 with just a single gym in the German city of Wuerzburg, Schaller grew his low-cost McFit chain into the largest fitness group in Europe.

In 2020, his company acquired the major US fitness chain Gold’s Gym, bringing its global footprint to more than 900 facilities on six continents.

© Agence France-Presse