SAD LOSS: Olympians, Reality TV Stars Die In Helicopter Crash During Filming...

SAD LOSS: Olympians, Reality TV Stars Die In Helicopter Crash During Filming Of Show (PHOTOS)

By Metro UK on March 10, 2015
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Communal, Clash, Cross river, Boki
Olympians and reality TV stars among 10 dead in mid-air helicopter collision
Producer Philippe Candeloro took this picture on March 7. Circled left to right are victims Camille Muffat, Florence Arthaud and Alexis Vastine.

French sports stars are among 10 people dead after a midair collision between two helicopters while filming a reality TV show.

Among the dead are two Olympic medal winners and a sailing champion, according to Argentinian authorities.

The helicopters crashed yesterday near Villa Castelli in La Rioja, north west Argentina, during production of a show called Dropped.

In total eight French people were killed along with two Argentinian pilots.

Among the dead were French Olympic gold medal swimmer Camille Muffat, Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud, according to a statement from La Rioja’s government.

epa04655537 (FILE) Camille Muffat of France with her gold medal after winning the women's 400m Freestyle final during the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Chartres, France, 24 November 2012. Ten people including several French athletes were killed on 09 March 2015 when two helicopters collided in northern Argentina, news reports said. The dead included both Argentine pilots and the cast and crew of a reality television survival show, which was to feature a celebrity cast including Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat, former boxer Alexis Vastine and yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, according to La Nacion newspaper. The aircrafts came down just after taking off in La Rioja, around 1,000 kilometres west of Buenos Aires in the foothills of the Andes.  EPA/IAN LANGSDON
Gold medallist Camille Muffat was among the dead (Picture: EPA)
FILE.-  In this Aug. 3, 2012 file photo, France's Alexis Vastine reacts after defeating Mongolia's Tuvshinbat Byamba in a men's welterweight 69-kg preliminary boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London.  Two helicopters carrying French sports stars filming a popular European reality show crashed in a remote part of Argentina, killing 10 people, including French Olympic gold medal swimmer Camille Muffat, Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud, according to a statement from La Rioja's government. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky/File)
Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine also died in the crash (Picture: AP)
Picture of the burning wreckages of two helicopters which collided mid-air near Villa Castelli, in the Argentine province of La Rioja, on March 9, 2015. Eight French nationals, including sports stars, filming a reality TV show were killed Monday along with two Argentine pilots when their helicopters collided in mid-air in northwestern Argentina, officials said.  AFP PHOTO / ALDO PORTUGAL   ---  ALTERNATIVE CROP - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEALDO PORTUGAL/AFP/Getty Images
The burning wreckage of one of the helicopters that crashed in La Rioja, Argentina (Picture: AFP)

Secretary of Security Cesar Angulo said: ‘An explosion occurred and it’s believed that they collided.’

Photographs showed the burning and smoking wreckage of the helicopters on the ground in dry scrubland with people gathered nearby.

In a statement the show’s producers Adventure Line said: ‘All the ADL teams are devastated and share the deep pain of the families and loved ones they are in contact with.

‘We are in contact with the production teams on site (and) with the French and Argentine authorities. We will give more information as soon as possible.’

French President Francois Hollande said: ‘The brutal demise of our compatriats is an immense sadness.’

(FILE) French skipper Florence Arthaud poses in Paris on October 27, 2014. Salior Arthaud was among eight French nationals filming a reality TV show who were killed on March 9, 2015 along with two Argentine pilots when their helicopters collided in mid-air in northwestern Argentina, officials said.   AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND GUAYBERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images
French skipper Florence Arthaud is among the dead (Picture: AFP)
People are seen near the burning wreckages of two helicopters which collided mid-air near Villa Castelli, in the Argentine province of La Rioja, on March 9, 2015. Eight French nationals, including sports stars, filming a reality TV show were killed Monday along with two Argentine pilots when their helicopters collided in mid-air in northwestern Argentina, officials said.  AFP PHOTO / ALDO PORTUGAL   ---  ALTERNATIVE CROP  - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEALDO PORTUGAL/AFP/Getty Images
Locals near the scene shortly after the crash (Picture: AFP) 
People gather near the smoking remains of a helicopter that crashed with another near Villa Castelli in the La Rioja province of Argentina, Monday, March 9, 2015. Two helicopters carrying passengers filming the popular European reality show "Dropped" crashed Monday in the remote area of northwest Argentina, killing everyone on board, authorities said. (AP Photo/Gabriel Gonzalez)
In total eight French nationals died and two Argentinians (Picture: AP) 
Picture released by NA showing the wreckage of a helicopter burning in flames after colliding mid-air with another chopper near Villa Castelli, in the Argentine province of La Rioja, on March 9, 2015. All ten people aboard the helicopters died, including a French reality show cast, according to the provisional government.   AFP PHOTO / NA   ---   ARGENTINA OUT - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / NA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE--/AFP/Getty Images
Fellow stars in the reality show have been left devastated at the crash (Picture: AFP)

Muffat, 25, won the gold medal in the 400-metre freestyle at the Olympic Games in 2012, adding a silver medal in the 200-metre freestyle and a bronze in the 4 by 200-metre freestyle relay. She had since retired from swimming to focus on her personal life.

Vastine won a bronze medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing, but his semifinal loss to Manuel Felix Diaz was marred in controversy as he was docked points by the referee in the final round. Vastine broke down in tears after the defeat.

In 2012, he lost in the quarterfinals at the London Games also amid controversy when he drew on points against Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine but lost on the countback rule, thus missing out on a medal.

Arthaud, who was 57, was a pioneer in sailing. In 1990, she won the famed Route du Rhum race – a trans-Atlantic single-handed yacht race between Brittany and the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe – on her boat Pierre 1er.

epa04655536 (FILE) Alexis Vastine of France during a quarter-final round boxing bout at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing, China, 17 August 2008. Ten people including several French athletes were killed on 09 March 2015 when two helicopters collided in northern Argentina, news reports said. The dead included both Argentine pilots and the cast and crew of a reality television survival show, which was to feature a celebrity cast including Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat, former boxer Alexis Vastine and yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, according to La Nacion newspaper. The aircrafts came down just after taking off in La Rioja, around 1,000 kilometres west of Buenos Aires in the foothills of the Andes.  EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO
Vestine won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (Picture: EPA)

Former France and Arsenal striker Sylvain Wiltord, ice skating champion Philippe Candeloro, former Olympic swimming champion Alain Bernard and veteran cyclist Jeannie Longo are among the other French athletes who took part in the show, but none were involved in the accident.

The Argentine statement identified the remaining victims as Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodia Guinard, Brice Guilbert and Edouard Gilles, as well as Argentine pilots Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.

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