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French Olympic stars among 10 killed in Argentina air crash, probe ordered

Eight French national and two Argentine pilots lost their lives when two helicopters carrying the participants of a popular reality show, collided in north-west Argentina, reports said.


French Olympic stars among 10 killed in Argentina air crash, probe ordered

Buenos Aires: Eight French national and two Argentine pilots lost their lives when two helicopters carrying the participants of a popular reality show, collided in north-west Argentina, reports said. 

The crash occurred in a remote region in La Rioja province near the Andes mountains, when the choppers were busy filming the survival reality show 'Dropped', authorities said reportedly.

French prosecutors have meanwhile opened a manslaughter probe into the crash, AFP reported.

French presidential office has confirmed that among ten dead, there were three French sports personalities.

"The sudden death of our fellow French nationals is a cause of immense sadness," the BBC cited a statement from French President Francois Hollande.

The three sports stars were Olympic gold medal swimmer Camille Muffat, Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine and champion sailor Florence Arthaud.

The French sports figures were part of a team filming the reality show "Dropped," a survivalist program with several versions across Europe, said the mayor of Villa Castelli, Andres Navarrete.

The crew had arrived on Sunday in Villa Castelli, where it had previously filmed a version of the show for Switzerland and Denmark, said Navarrette.

Both Argentine pilots, identified as Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate, were killed in the crash.

"The causes of the crash are not known," Navarrete told radio station Cadena 3.

Angulo said one of the helicopters belonged to La Rioja province and the other belonged to the neighboring province of Santiago del Estero.

"The helicopter from La Rioja was a Eurocopter with a capacity to hold six people. It appears to have brushed against the other helicopter from Santiago del Estero shortly after takeoff," the statement from the provincial government said.

Muffat, 25, won gold in the 400-meter freestyle, silver in the 200-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Vastine, 28, won a bronze medal at the 2008 games in Beijing in the 60-64 kilogram category.

A rugged, sparsely populated area is on the edge of the Andes mountain range that separates Argentina and Chile.

Several after-hours calls to various departments within the municipality of Villi Castelli were not answered.

With Agency Inputs

From Zee News

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