Gold’s Gym owner and 5 others feared dead after plane crash off the coast of Costa Rica
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A week-long investigation into the death of five people who lost loved ones inside a plane crash in Costa Rica has focused on the airline and a single pilot who disappeared for the last 25 days.
The Air Niugini flight from the capital of San Jose to San José, crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing all but nine of the 37 people on board.
Among those killed was the owner of the Gold’s Gym in downtown San José, Pedro Hernadez Pérez, 56. He was found naked on the beach with his head and shoulders exposed, which likely caused him to drown. Two other people died in the water and another three were presumed dead from head trauma.
All five of those killed were well-known to Gold’s Gym staff, who were told they were being sent to see a specialist in a case of acute appendicitis. Gold’s Gym director, Mario Galoza, has said that Pérez was one of the best employees in his gym and it is a real loss.
“This is a very difficult time for all of our family,” Pérez’s son, José Luis, told media reports. “It is a tragedy and we all are struggling to come to terms with the death of our father. It is very hard. We can’t forget that he had a passion for life, he loved Gold’s Gym.”
Galoza told reporters he had worked with Pérez for almost 20 years, but was shocked by the turn of events.
“When we saw his body we immediately knew something was wrong,” Galoza said. It was later revealed that Pérez was the one who died in the water.
The plane crashed into the ocean about six miles from San José at around 1:30pm local time on Thursday. The Air Niugini flight had been flying to the popular beach resort of Tamboril Island, where the Gold’s Gym was located, when it was forced to make a “hard right” to avoid a storm.
The aircraft crashed on the Pacific side of the island, where winds were predicted to reach more than 100Kph (60mph).