Chinese hotelier feared dead in French helicopter crash
Search begins for four missing people hours after sale of luxury Bordeaux chateau agreed
Rescue firefighters organise a search operation after a helicopter crashed in Lugon-et-l’ile-du-Carnay, France. Photograph: Caroline Blumberg/EPA
A Chinese hotel magnate and a French wine entrepreneur were feared dead with two others on Saturday after their helicopter crashed hours after they had agreed the sale of a luxury Bordeaux chateau, police said.
Lam Kok, owner of Hong Kong-based hotel group Brilliant, bought the 60-hectare (148-acre) Chateau de La Riviere on Friday from former owner James Gregoire, who then took Mr Kok, his 12-year-old son and a Chinese interpreter on a helicopter tour of the property.
Local emergency services said the helicopter crashed in the local river Dordogne by the town of Lugon-et-l’ile-du-Carnay. One unidentified body was recovered late on Friday and police said more searches were being launched today.
Chinese entrepreneurs have snapped up several dozen French chateaux, most of them in Bordeaux. The new owners have either shipped the output back to China to satisfy a growing local taste for wine, or turned them into tourist resorts.