Czech Republic’s Richest Man Dies in Alaskan Helicopter Crash

Billionaire Petr Kellner and four other people died in an Alaskan helicopter crash, leaving one survivor. 

Petr Kellner, the Czech Republic’s richest man, was one of the five people killed in helicopter crash on a skiing trip in Alaska.

The 56-year-old was among the passengers and pilot killed on Saturday in a crash near Knik glacier north-east of Anchorage, Alaska state troopers said. 

Authorities also confirmed one survivor had been taken to a hospital, adding that the group had been on a heliski tour. 

Kellner avoided public attention but was known to be an avid skier. A picture of him snowboarding was published in an annual report of his investment group, PPF.

Kellner’s wealth was estimated at $17.5bn (£12.6bn), according to Forbes. He started selling photocopying machines as the Czech Republic opened up after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. 

He started PPF with partners to take part in the country’s privatization of hundreds of state-owned companies. The group later expanded into finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, media and biotech, gaining assets of $16.5bn (€44bn) by mid-2020. 

The company expressed their “deepest grief” in a statement regarding the death of its founder. Kellner is survived by his wife, Renata, and four children.

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