Ten people have died, including a number of French sports stars, after two helicopters collided during the filming of a French reality TV show in Argentina, according to local reports.
The group included two Argentinean pilots and eight French nationals who were cast- and crewmembers of the TF1 survival show Dropped. Among the sports stars killed were champion sailor Florence Arthaud, 57, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Camille Muffat, 25, and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine, 28.
Agence France-Presse reports that the crash happened near the town of Villa Castelli, about 700 miles north of the capital, Buenos Aires. Police and firefighters were still working to recover the victims’ bodies when night fell, using floodlights to illuminate the area.
It is currently unknown how the accident happened, but local eyewitness accounts suggest the helicopters came together in midair.
Dropped is a survival-themed show that involves dropping celebrities blindfolded into inhospitable environments. The contestants have to survive and fend for themselves as well as find their own way back to civilization.
One of the contestants on Dropped, former Arsenal footballer Sylvain Wiltord, tweeted: “I’m sad for my friends, I’m trembling, I’m horrified, I have no words, I don’t want to say anything.”
“We learn with great sadness about the accident during the filming of the Dropped show,” said a statement issued by TF1 and reported on the BBC.
“All TF1 teams come together in this terrible time with the pain of the families and relatives of the victims.”
TF1 says the show will be postponed and the rest of the crew is returning home.
Mar. 10, 12:15 a.m. Updated with statement from TF1.