| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Czech Billionaire Kellner Among Alaska Crash Victims

A helicopter headed to the U.S. state of Alaska for a skiing trip crashed on Saturday killing the pilot and four others, according to authorities.

Among the five people who died in the late Saturday helicopter crash is 56-year-old Czech Republic’s richest man, billionaire Petr Kellner.

Kellner’s company, financial and telecommunications firm PPF Group, confirmed his death Monday. “We announce with the deepest grief that, in a helicopter accident in Alaska mountains on Saturday, March 27, the founder and majority owner of the PPF group, Mr Petr Kellner, died tragically,” PPF said in a statement.

Alaska police said Benjamin Larochaix, also of the Czech Republic, and Alaskans Sean McMannany and Zachary Russel were killed in the crash. One other person was hospitalized.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which happened near Knik Glacier in Alaska’s backcountry.

A spokeswoman for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge said that three of the passengers were guests and two were guides. The lodge advertises itself as a base for wilderness adventures, including heli-skiing.