Authorities investigate fatal Milan plane crash

MILAN - Investigators Monday were trying to determine why an aeroplane piloted by one of Romania’s richest men, Dan Petrescu, crashed in Milan on Sunday killing all eight people aboard, aviation sources said. The private plane was bound for Olbia in Sardinia, but it crashed shortly after taking off from Linate airport in east Milan.

 The owner and pilot of the Pilatus PC-12 plane, 68-year old Petrescu, was on his way to his Sardinia villa to spend a holiday with his family. There were two families on board, Petrescu’s own and that of his friend.

 There was no official passenger list but police said, pending an official verdict from the comparisons of genetic profiles, the probable eight victims were as follows: Petrescu himself, his wife, Regina Dorotea Petrescu Balzat, 65, his son, Dan Stefan, 30 and his son’s friend, Julien Brossard, a 36-year-old Canadian.

 The second family on board consisted of 33-year-old Filippo Nascimbene, an entrepreneur from Pavia resident in Milan, his infant son, Raphael, born only last year, his French wife, 34-year-old Claire Stephanie Caroline Alexandrescou and his 65-year-old mother-in-law, Miruna Anca Wanda Lozinschi, a Romanian with French citizenship.

 Petrescu was born in Munich and thus possessed dual Romanian-German citizenship. His fortune was built through investment in the property sector, in particular the hypermarkets of the ‘Metro’ and ‘Real’ chains - a business that earned him personal assets estimated at 3 billion euros.

 He spent many years in Germany to escape Nicolae Ceausescu's regime, then in 1989 he decided to return to his native country.

 According to the Romanian press, he bought the aircraft in question in 2015 together with Vova Cohn, a former shareholder of the Dinamo Bucharest football club.