International News Update : French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

Insight Online News

Paris, Mar 8 : French Member of Parliament, billionaire and scion of the Dassault aircraft-making family – Olivier Dassault was killed in a helicopter crash in north-western France, media reports said on Monday. He was 69.

Police sources told AFP news agency, the accident occurred on Sunday evening around 1700 hrs (GMT) in Normandy where he had a holiday home. The pilot was also killed and no-one else was on board.

French President Emmanuel Macron led tributes, saying in a tweet that “Olivier Dassault loved France. Captain of industry, local MP, reserve commander in the air force; throughout his life he never stopped serving our country”. He called his death “a great loss” and sent his condolences to the Dassault family, one of the most influential in France with interests spanning aeronautics, defence, auctioneering, wine and the media.

Dassault was the son of industrialist Serge Dassault, whose group builds Rafale war planes and owns Le Figaro newspaper.

He was elected to the National Assembly – France’s lower house of parliament – in 2002 and represented the Oise area of northern France.

The MP, from the centre-right Republicans, was considered the 361st richest man in the world – worth an estimated €6.3bn ($7.3bn; £5.2bn), according to Forbes.


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