Seven people, including four members of a Slovenian family, were killed in a helicopter crash in southeastern Italy on Saturday. One of the family members who died is Boštjan Rigler (54), director of one of the most important television companies in his home country.
The helicopter belonged to a private company and was an A109 type. The plane departed from the Tremiti Islands around 9 a.m. Saturday and was on its way to Foggia. However, the helicopter disappeared from the radar over the mainland.
A major search operation was launched by the rescue services and the army. During the afternoon, the wreckage of the plane was found in a rural area between San Severo and Abrisina. None of the passengers seem to have survived the disaster.
The Rigler family arrived at the island group on Friday and will indeed return to their vacation address on the Italian mainland on the same day. However, their flight was postponed to Saturday due to bad weather. Also on board were John Rigler (44), Mattia Cork-Rigler (44) and Lisa Rigler (13).
According to local media, Boštjan Rigler is the artistic director of Pro Plus, one of the largest commercial television companies in Slovenia, with two channels Pop TV and Kanal A.
The pilots and the doctor
In addition to the tourists from Ljubljana, there were two pilots, Luigi Ippolito and Andrea Nardelli, and an Italian doctor on board. According to Italian news agency ANSA, 64-year-old doctor Maurizio Di Girolamo decided to return home rather than go by boat due to bad weather and rough seas.
The Italian Federation of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists honors Di Girolamo. Our colleague has spent his life bringing medical assistance to the small islands. Places where health services are difficult to ensure. We honor him,” it appears in the local media. Puglia’s vice president, Rafael Piemontez, also praised the doctor: “He was always at the service of others.”
The cause of the accident is not yet known, and the investigation is still ongoing. Bad weather may have played a role.
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