CEO, 5 others die in seaplane crash
The CEO of Compass Group Plc, the world’s biggest catering firm, and four of his close family members were among the six people who died when the seaplane they were traveling in crashed into a Sydney river on New Year’s Eve.
Richard Cousins, 58, chief of the British-based catering and food services giant, died alongside Emma Bowden, 48, Heather Bowden, 11, Edward Cousins, 23, and William Cousins, 25, according to Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings from the New South Wales Police.
Cousins had been due to retire on March 31. Compass said the new chief executive, Dominic Blakemore, would now start on January 1 instead of on April 1 as originally planned, following the news.
Australian media reports identified the victims as the CEO’s two sons, his fiancee and her daughter. The pilot of the plane, Gareth Morgan, 44, also died in the crash.
Hutchings said that police had already been in contact with British authorities.
Compass Chairman Paul Walsh said in a statement: “The thoughts of everyone at Compass are with Richard’s family and friends, and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.”
“Richard was known and respected for his great humanity and a no-nonsense style that transformed Compass into one of Britain’s leading companies,” he added yesterday.
Police are working with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to recover the wreckage of the plane, which is submerged in 13 meters of water near Cowan, north of Sydney.
A probe into the cause of the crash has begun, with a preliminary report expected within 30 days.