Billionaire French politician dies in helicopter crash

French MP and billionaire Olivier Dassault (Photo: The Guardian)

French MP and billionaire Olivier Dassault has died in a helicopter crash in north-western France.

The accident occurred on Sunday evening in Normandy where he had a holiday home, according to police sources. The helicopter carrying Dassault crashed near Deauville at about 18:00 (1700 GMT), sources told AFP news agency. The pilot was also killed, and no-one else was on board.

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

He was considered the 361 richest man in the world. According to Forbes, he was worth an estimated $7.3 billion US.

In 2002, he was elected to the National Assembly – France’s lower house of parliament represented the Oise area of northern France.

In his tribute, President Emmanuel Macron said Dassault, 69, loved France and his death would be “a great loss”.