French Olympians Among 10 Dead in Helicopter Crash During Reality TV Shoot
A collision between two helicopters in Argentina on Monday has left 10 people dead, according to several reports. Among those on board were French athletes competing on the French reality TV show Dropped.
The office of French President Francois Hollande later confirmed the deaths of world sailor Florence Arthuad, Olympic swimming champion Camille Muffat, and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine. Five French crewmembers and two Argentinian pilots were also killed in the crash, which happened in the La Rioja province, some 700 miles north of Buenos Aires. The cause of the crash is still unknown.
“The sudden death of our fellow French nationals is a cause of immense sadness,” President Hollande said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee also released a statement on the tragedy:
“We are shocked by this sad news. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these great athletes who have left us.
With them, the world of sport and the Olympic family have lost three of their key members. They were all not only champions in their sport but also contributed greatly as role models.
The Olympic Movement mourns with their families and friends, their fellow athletes, the French National Olympic Committee and with France.
The Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast for three days at the IOC Headquarters to honour these great champions.”
According to the BBC, Dropped is a show that documents stars in their attempts to find food and shelter after being released into “rough terrain” by helicopter.
TFI, the show’s network, has since announced that the remainder of the Dropped crew is set to go home and that the show will be postponed.
“All TFI teams come together in this terrible time with the pain of the families and relatives of the victims,” the network said in a statement. [via BBC]
[Lead photos courtesy of JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images]