Italian news agency ANSA and other local media are reporting the helicopter crash. The plane departed from the Tremiti Islands around 9 AM and headed for 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 in the archipelago yesterday and will indeed return to their vacation address on the Italian mainland on the same day. However, their flight has been postponed until today due to bad weather. Also on board were John Rigler (44), Mattia Cork-Rigler (44) and Lisa Rigler (13). Local media reported that 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.
In addition to the tourists from Ljubljana, there were two pilots, Luigi Ippolito and Andrea Nardelli, and an Italian doctor on board. According to ANSA, 64-year-old doctor Maurizio Di Girolamo decided to go home instead of going 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.
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