Two helicopters carrying passengers filming a popular European reality show crashed Monday in a remote area of northwest Argentina, killing eight French citizens and two Argentines, authorities said.
The helicopters crashed while flying near Villa Castelli in La Rioja province, about 1,170 kilometers northwest of Buenos Aires, La Rioja Secretary of Security Cesar Angulo told television station TN. All 10 people on board both aircrafts were killed.
“An explosion occurred and it’s believed that they collided,” said Angulo. Photographs showed the burning and smoking wreckage of the helicopters on the ground in dry scrubland with people gathered nearby.
A statement from La Rioja’s government said that among the 10 dead were French sports stars, including 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.