Skip to comments.Politician fights for life after crashing hours-old Ferrari
Posted on 11/27/2006 5:35:59 PM PST by LibWhacker
THE Russian billionaire and parliamentarian Suleiman Kerimov was in a critical condition in a French hospital yesterday after crashing a Ferrari Enzo only hours after buying it.
Listed by Forbes magazine as the 72nd richest person in the world, Mr Kerimov lost control of the £500,000 car on Saturday afternoon on the Promenade des Anglais in the French resort of Nice.
The car hit a tree, burst into flames and was destroyed.
Mr Kerimov, 41, was flown by helicopter to a specialist burns clinic at a hospital in Marseilles.
A spokesman for the hospital authority said his condition remained "worrisome", and added that he was breathing with the aid of a respirator. Doctors would not know whether his condition had stabilised for another 48 hours, he said.
A 31-year-old woman who was in the car with Mr Kerimov was named as Tina Kandelaki. Nice police identified the injured woman as having the same name as a prominent radio and television host in Russia, but could not confirm it was the media personality. The woman suffered burns on her thighs and hands. She was treated and released from a Nice hospital on Saturday, before returning to Russia.
A police investigation into the crash is under way.
Mr Kerimov bought the Ferrari Enzo in Nice earlier on Saturday, police said. Witnesses told investigators that the car had been weaving in and out of vehicles at high speed on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice's best-known thoroughfare, police said.
The vehicle span out of control on the wet road before hitting the tree.
Mr Kerimov, engulfed in flames, pulled himself out of the car and rolled on the grass, the police said.
Mr Kerimov is a member of pro-Kremlin ultra-nationalist Liberal Democrat Party in the Duma.
The party's leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has insisted that there was nothing suspicious about the crash.
Mr Kerimov is worth £3.7 billion, according to Forbes magazine, whose annual survey of the world's richest people put him at No 72 and made him the 11th richest Russian.
He was born in Russia's southern region of Dagestan, near the troubled region of Chechnya, and owns big stakes in gas monopoly Gazprom and Russia's largest bank, Sberbank.
Mr Kerimov leaped into the top league of Russian billionaires in the late 1990s, several years after he started to borrow aggressively from banks to buy shares in state companies, betting that the value of his investments would rise over time.
He is married with three children, but he is regularly linked by Russian tabloids to some of Russia's most famous young women.
Russian media reported last year that he paid £500,000 to fly the pop stars Shakira and Christina Aguilera to Russia to celebrate his 40th birthday.
Bummer about the car.
Right, that's him! "Nutjob" is a good description of him.
another Enzo tragically destroyed.
Putin strikes again! Who will he strike next? Yakof Smirnov?
Yeah, not just any billionaire can own one. Owners have to be invited by Ferrari. Must have been a loyal customer.
Lol, that's what I was thinking. Crazy to think you can buy a brand new Ferrari Enzo and hours later take it out on the street and put the pedal to the medal. Where's the respect?
but they allowed resales with the Enzo, they go for about 1.3 million.
That is just plain sad.
or is that metal or mettle?
I wonder if his, uh, er ... "thingy" got burned? Well, inquiring minds want to know.
Arghhh! Can't believe I made that mistake. :-(
I hate the smell of burning carbon fiber in the morning (which means, of course, my Enzo blow'ed up).
Where was Putin?
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