One of the wealthiest people in Europe, Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, was identified as one of the victims of a fatal helicopter crash in Alaska’s backcountry. He and others were on a heli-skiing tour.
The incident happened near the Knik Glacier, 50 miles (80km) east of Anchorage. Five people were killed in the crash, while the sole survivor, whose identity remains undisclosed, was transported to a hospital and remains in serious but stable condition, according to local authorities.
A list of victims released by Alaska’s Department of Public Safety revealed that one of them was billionaire financier and insurance mogul Petr Kellner. Forbes estimates the 56-year-old’s net worth at $17.4 billion, which made him the richest person in the Czech Republic.
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The five passengers of the helicopter included three guests and two guides from the local Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, the company told the media. Kellner and another Czech national killed in the incident were “were loyal and frequent” guests at the lodge, which offers heli-skiing services, a spokesperson told AP. Also killed in the crash was a local helicopter pilot who worked for Wasilla-based Soloy Helicopters.
State troopers said they were alerted about an overdue Airbus/Eurocopter AS350B3 helicopter and possible crash debris near Knik Glacier on Saturday evening. Volunteers from the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and members of the Alaska Army National Guard took part in the rescue operation. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
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