A prominent figure was among five people killed in a mysterious helicopter crash in the backcountry of Alaska.
Petr Kellner, a billionaire widely-known as the richest man in the Czech Republic, was killed when the Airbus AS350 B3 carrying him and several others crashed under unknown circumstances approximately 50 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska at around 6:30 p.m.
Kellner, 56, who had a net worth of around $7.5 billion, was in Alaska on a trip, staying at a local ski lodge. Those who died alongside Kellner were Gregory Harms, 52, of Colorado; Benjamin Larochaix, 50, of the Czech Republic; and two Alaskans, Sean McMannany, 38, and the pilot, Zachary Russel, 33.
One individual onboard survived, and is currently in serious but stable condition.
The helicopter had been flying its passengers from the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, which is around a 40 minute flight from Anchorage, at the time of the crash.
“This news is devastating to our staff, the community in which we operate and the families of the deceased,” said a spokesperson, noting that Kellner and Larochaix were “loyal and frequent” guests at the lodge.
The Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is the longest operating heli-skiing lodge in Alaska, with packages starting at $15,000 per person. Heli-skiing “involves off-trail, downhill skiing or snowboarding reached by helicopter, instead of a ski lift,” according to ZeroHedge.