Three French Sports Stars among 10 Killed in Argentina helicopter crash
11 March 2015 Nirapad News: Three French sports personalities are among 10 people killed in a helicopter crash in Argentina, the French presidential office confirmed.
Eight French nationals and their two Argentine pilots died when two helicopters collided in La Rioja province in the country’s north-west.
Yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine all perished.
Both helicopters were involved in the filming of TV survival show Dropped.
The show, on channel TF1, flies celebrities into rough terrain by helicopter and films their attempts to find food and shelter.
“The sudden death of our fellow French nationals is a cause of immense sadness,” said a statement from French President Francois Hollande.
The cause of the crash is as yet unclear and investigations are under way.
Camille Muffat, 25, won three medals, including gold in the 400m freestyle in the 2012 London Olympics. She retired from competitive swimming in 2014.
Alexis Vastine, 28, won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the light-welterweight category. He was narrowly beaten in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Games.
Florence Arthaud, 57, was a hugely accomplished sailor, winning the 1990 Route du Rhum, the prestigious solo Atlantic race. A serious car accident put her in a coma when she was 17.
The helicopters collided during filming near Villa Castelli, about 1,170km (720 miles) from Buenos Aires, according to local officials.
Five others killed were said to have worked for Adventure Line Productions (ALP), the company making the program.
They were named as Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodia Guinard, Brice Guilbert and Edouard Gilles.
The Argentine pilots were named as Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.
Other contestants were standing on the ground blindfolded a few hundred metres away when the accident happened, French media said.