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    Olympians Among TV Cast Killed In Air Crash

    10 March 2015 Last updated at 11:45

    Three French sports stars die in Argentina helicopter crash

    Weather conditions were described as good, as Sarah Corker reports

    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.

    BBC News - Three French sports stars die in Argentina helicopter crash

    Three French sports stars were among 10 people killed after two helicopters apparently collided during filming for a reality TV show in northern Argentina.

    Camille Muffat, who won an Olympic gold medal in swimming at the London 2012 games, Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine, and champion sailor Florence Arthaud were taking part in the French series Dropped.

    They were in two helicopters flying over mountains near Villa Castelli, in La Rioja province.

    Photographs showed the burning wreckage of the aircraft in dry scrubland with people gathered nearby.

    The other seven victims - five French nationals and two Argentine pilots - were not immediately named.

    A statement from La Rioja's government confirmed the identities of the three athletes.

    Ms Arthaud, 57, was considered one of the best sailors in the world and had won the 1990 Route du Rhum.

    Ms Muffat, 25, won gold in the 400-metre freestyle in 2012, along with two other medals.

    Mr Vastine, 28, won a bronze medal at the Beijing games in 2008 in the light welterweight category.

    In her last Facebook post, Ms Muffat had written: "Everything is going well for me. Leaving Ushuaia early this morning. See you soon."

    Former Arsenal footballer Sylvain Wiltord reportedly missed the doomed flight because he was voted off the show the day before.

    The 40-year-old tweeted: "I'm sad for my friends, I'm trembling, I'm horrified, I have no words, I don't want to say anything."

    Cesar Angulo, secretary of security for the province, told TN television: "An explosion occurred and it's believed that they must have collided.

    "Aeronautical experts will have to determine that."

    The statement from La Rioja's provincial government added: "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 take-off."

    French President Francois Hollande said: "The brutal demise of our compatriots is an immense sadness."

    Olympic swimmer Becky Adlington tweeted: "So sad and shocked to wake up to hear the tragic death of Camille Muffat. She was an amazing sportswoman, competitor and lovely person.

    "My thoughts go out to not only all her friends and family but to all the family and friends of all the 10 victims."

    The show they were making involves sports stars being put into inhospitable environments and trying to survive by foraging for food.

    Production company Adventure Line Productions (ADL) 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."

    A cast and crew of around 80 people were in the area to film the series.

    Shooting began in February in Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Argentina, before moving north to La Rioja, a remote area on the edge of the Andes mountain range that separates Argentina and Chile.

    Olympians Among TV Cast Killed In Air Crash

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