Gold’s Gym parent company confirms CEO was on crashed plane

A spokesperson for the RSG group of gyms, including Gold’s Gym and McFit, confirmed on Monday that founder and CEO Rainer Schaller, family and friends were in a small plane that disappeared off the radar off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. (Chris D Swabb, Shutterstock)

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – A spokeswoman 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 the radar off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. .

Company spokeswoman Kristen Kauffman released a statement Monday confirming that Rainer Schaller’s “family and two other people were on board the plane at the time of the crash.”

The company has not confirmed Schaller’s death, despite searchers finding two bodies, luggage and plane parts in the sea.

“We are shocked, shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” RSG said in a statement. “We have been deeply shaken by the news of the past few days and our thoughts are with the family during these difficult hours.”

“As the situation is currently being investigated on site, we are unable to comment further 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 directly or through franchises.

On Sunday, Costa Rica’s Security Ministry said the bodies of an adult and a child had been found 17 miles off the coast from Limón airport, but said the bodies had not yet been identified.

Searchers also found backpacks and bags and 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 flight disappeared on Friday.

The aircraft was a nine-seater Italian Piaggio P180 Avanti, known for its distinctive profile. It disappeared from radar en route to the coastal resort town of Limon.

The Ministry of Security said the flight originated from Mexico.

Schaller was in the news in 2010 for his role as the organizer of the techno festival Berlin Love Parade. 21 people died and more than 500 were injured in the conflict during the event. Authorities at the time said Schaller’s security failed to stop the flow of people into the tunnel as the situation escalated at the entrance to the festival site.

Schaller disputed allegations of wrongdoing, noting that his security concept had received official city approval.

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