French billionaire MP Olivier Dassault was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash, Reuters reported, quoting the police. He was the eldest son of late industrialist Serge Dassault and belonged to the family that owns Dassault Aviation that makes Rafale fighter jets, among other planes.
“Olivier Dassault loved France,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet, paying him tribute. “Captain of industry, lawmaker, local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country, to value its assets. His sudden death is a great loss. Thoughts on his family and loved ones.”
Dassault’s private helicopter crashed near Deauville in Normandy in France where he has a holiday home, an unidentified police official told Reuters. The pilot was also killed.
France’s national air crash investigation agency, the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety said in a tweet that the crash happened shortly after take-off from “private grounds”, AFP reported. The tweet also said that the crash took place at 5.50 pm local time (around 10.30 pm IST).
An involuntary manslaughter investigation has been launched, according to AFP.
The French MP’s father Serge Dassault had not named an heir to succeed him when he died in 2018 after suffering a cardiac attack. Shortly before his father’s death, Oliver Dassault resigned as the chairperson of the group’s supervisory board because he said the role was incompatible with his parliamentary duties, AFP reported.
An MP for the conservative Les Republicans party since 2002, Dassault was considered the 361st richest man in the world alongside his two brothers and sister, with wealth of about 6 billion euros (over Rs 52,000 crore), Reuters reported, citing a 2020 Forbes list.