A press representative for the RSG group of gyms, including Gold’s Gym and McFit, confirmed Monday that founder and CEO Rainer Schaller, family and friends were in a small plane that disappeared off radar just off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. (Chris D Swab, Shutterstock)
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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – A spokesperson for the RSG group of gyms, including Gold’s Gym and McFit, confirmed Monday that founder and CEO Rainer Schaller, family and friends were aboard a small plane that disappeared off radar just off the Caribbean coast on Costa Rica. .
Company spokeswoman Kristen Kaufmann released a message Monday confirming that Rainer Schaller, “his family and two other people were on the plane at the time of the crash.”
The company has not confirmed Schaller’s death, despite the fact that searchers found two bodies, luggage and parts of the plane in the sea.
“We are shocked, stunned and saddened by this tragic accident,” RSG said in a statement. The news of the last few days has deeply shaken us, and our thoughts are with the family in these difficult hours.”
“As the situation is currently still being investigated on site, we are unable to comment further at this time and ask for your understanding.”
Schaller is listed as the “founder, owner and CEO of RSG Group,” a conglomerate of 21 fitness, lifestyle and fashion brands that operates in 48 countries and has 41,000 employees, directly or through franchises.
On Sunday, Costa Rica’s security ministry said the bodies of an adult and a child had been found at a site about 17 miles offshore from Limon airport, but said the bodies had not yet been identified.
Searchers also found backpacks and bags, as well as parts of the plane.
All five passengers were German nationals. The pilot of the plane was Swiss.
Costa Rican authorities said parts of the twin-engine turboprop plane were found in the water on Saturday after the flight disappeared on Friday.
The aircraft was an Italian-made nine-seater Piaggio P180 Avanti, known for its distinctive profile. It disappeared from the radar while heading for Limón, a tourist town on the coast.
The Ministry of Security said the flight departed from Mexico.
Schaller was in the news in 2010 for his role as organizer of the techno festival Berlin Love Parade. 21 people died in the accident at the event, and more than 500 were injured. Authorities at the time said Schaller’s security had failed to stop the flow of people into the tunnel when the situation was already tense at the entrance to the festival grounds.
Schaller has pushed back against allegations of wrongdoing, noting that his safety concept has received official approval from the city.