Two French Olympians were among the 10 people killed Monday during filming for the reality TV series "Dropped" in Argentina. The contestants were aboard two helicopters when the aircrafts collided and crashed. According to Argentine officials, the accident occurred near Villa Castelli in La Rioja province, roughly 700 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. Weather was not deemed a factor.
"An explosion occurred, and it's believed that they must have collided,'' La Rioja Secretary of Security Cesar Angulo told the BBC.
The Olympic medalists, swimmer Camille Muffat and boxer Alexis Vastine, as well as champion sailor Florence Arthaud, were confirmed to have been killed in the accident. In a statement, the International Olympic Committee mourned the loss of the three athletes.
"We are shocked by this sad news. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these great athletes who have left us," they said.
"With them, the world of sport and the Olympic family have lost three of their key members. They were all not only champions in their sport but also contributed greatly as role models.
"The Olympic Movement mourns with their families and friends, their fellow athletes, the French National Olympic Committee and with France."
According to TF1, the channel that airs the popular reality series, five members of the production team were killed, as well as the two military-trained Argentine helicopter pilots.
"We have no details on the exact circumstances at the moment," TF1 chief executive Nonce Paolini told Reuters. "All I can say at the moment is that we are in a state of complete shock."
"Dropped" was to be a new addition to TF1's reality television lineup, based on the hit prime-time adventure game show of the same name that originated in Sweden. According to the summary, contestants are blindfolded and dropped into remote locations, where they race with "no food, map or help" to return to civilization where they locate a helicopter to take them to the next location.
The series was set to premiere later this year.