10 people are dead after two helicopters collided during the filming of a French reality TV show called Dropped. The helicopters collided near Villa Castelli, about 720 miles outside of Buenos Aires.
The dead include both Argentinian pilots and eight French Nationals.
Five of the French Nationals killed in the accident were employees of Adventure Line Productions (ALP), the company making the program. They were Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodia Guinard, Brice Guilbert and Edouard Gilles. The two Argentine pilots were Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.
The other three were well known French sports celebrities. Camille Muffat who had won three medals, including gold in the 400m freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics; Alexis Vastine who had won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the light-welterweight category and Florence Arthaud who was an accomplished sailor that had won the 1990 Route du Rhum, a prestigious solo Atlantic race.
The reality show features celebrities who are flown into rough terrain by helicopter where they must find food and shelter. Filming for the latest season had started last month in the heart of Argentina in Ushuaia and had moved west to the province of Rioja.
Other celebrity contestants were standing on the ground only a few hundred meters away when the accident happened. Press releases on the other contestants are slowly trickling out, but one contestant figure skater Philippe Candeloro, was said to be “extremely shocked but unharmed.”
Former Striker for Arsenal and France, Sylvain Wiltord, stated via social media, “I’m trembling, I can’t talk. I’m horrified.” And a former team-mate of Camille Muffat, Yannick Agnel said, “not her… Let us be strong.”
A statement issued by TF1, where the show airs stated, “We learn with great sadness about the accident during the filming of the Dropped show” … “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 remaining crew is returning home.
Images courtesy of AFP and Dropped