Dan Petrescu, a Romanian billionaire, died in a plane crash in Milan earlier this week. All eight people on board the plane were killed on impact. The National Agency for Flight Safety and the Italian police have launched an investigation into the cause of the tragic crash.
Petrescu was piloting the private plane at the time of the crash. The aircraft had taken off from Milan’s Linate Airport at 1:04 p.m. and was supposed to make a trip to the island of Sardinia, to visit Petrescu’s mother. After 11 minutes in the sky, the small plane ended up crashing into a subway station in San Donato Milanese.
The plane’s black box has since been recovered from the wreckage and investigators are hoping that it provides insight into the last minutes of the flight.
Milan prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano said that through the initial investigation it doesn’t seem that Dan Petrescu made an indication that there was anything wrong with the plane. No alarms were sounded before the crash.
Petrescu had bought the small Pilatus PC-12 aircraft back in 2015. On September 30 2021, the plane made a short trip from Romania to Milan with no problems. Investigators said that it is too early to pinpoint the exact cause of the crash.
Seven people on the flight were Romanian citizens and among the victims were Petrescu, his wife and 30-year-old son, Dan Stefano, family friend Filippo Nascimbene, his wife Claire Alexandrescou, their one-year-old son Rafael, and her mother Miruna Anca Wanda Lozinschi.
The group had celebrated the baptism of Rafael just hours before the tragic crash.
Since the crash, friends and family of the victims have expressed their disbelief at the tragic loss of their loved ones. Fabio, a coworker of Filippo Nascimbene said, “We are still in disbelief about the tragedy and the death of Filippo. On behalf of the whole team, we share the pain of the family for the loss of a friend and a colleague.”
Julien Brossard, a friend of Dan Petrescu’s son, was also on board the plane at the time of the crash. He had been visiting from Canada where the two young men work.
According to witnesses, the plane was already on fire when it fell out of the sky. Andrea, 19, said “I saw the plane lose control. I saw it just as it crashed. I saw it dive. The plane was low. And then there was a lot of smoke, flames in the sky. Pieces were flying. I was very scared.”
Emergency workers said that the building where the plane crash happened was closed for renovations and thankfully empty. A handful of cars in a nearby lot also caught on fire from the falling plane, but they were also unoccupied.
The destruction caused by the plane crash has been devastating. While workers have been able to control the flames, they have only been able to find one body.
After the crash, thick black smoke could be seen for miles. A local man, Giuseppe, said, “I heard the sound of a plane above me as if the plane was shutting down its engine. Then I heard a very loud explosion, the windows of our house started to shake so I opened the window and saw a huge cloud of smoke rising,” he said.
Dan Petrescu was a Romanian billionaire and said to be one of the richest men in his home country. Valued at 3 million euros, the 68-year-old had made his wealth through owning a variety of supermarkets, malls, and a large construction firm.
He also partnered with former tennis star, Ion Tiriac, in certain ventures and held a stake in UniCredit Tiriac Bank.
Petrescu held dual citizenship in both Romania and Germany.