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 aboard a small plane that went off the radar off Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. (Chris D Swabb, Shutterstock)
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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — 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 aboard a small plane that went off the radar off Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast disappeared .
Company spokeswoman Kristen Kauffman said Monday that Rainer Schaller, “his family and two other people were on board the plane at the time of the crash.”
The company did not confirm Schaller’s death, although searchers found two bodies, luggage and parts of the plane in the sea.
“We are shocked, stunned and saddened by this tragic accident,” the RSG statement said. “We were deeply shocked by the news of the last few days and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”
“Since the situation is still being investigated on site, we cannot comment further at the moment 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 employs 41,000 people either directly or through franchises.
On Sunday, the Costa Rican Ministry of Security said the bodies of an adult and a child were found at a site about 17 miles offshore from Limon Airport, but said the bodies had not yet been identified.
The searchers also found backpacks and bags, as well as parts of the plane.
All five passengers were German citizens. 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 plane went missing on Friday.
The aircraft was a nine-seat, Italian-made Piaggio P180 Avanti known for its distinctive profile. It disappeared from radar while heading to Limon, a resort town on the coast.
The Security Ministry said the flight departed from Mexico.
In 2010, Schaller hit the headlines as the organizer of the Berlin Love Parade techno festival. A crush at the event killed 21 people and injured more than 500. Authorities said at the time Schaller’s security forces failed to stop the flow of people into a tunnel when the situation at the entrance to the festival site was already tense.
Schaller defended himself against the allegations of misconduct and stated that his security concept had been approved by the city.