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French Olympians among 10 dead after 2 helicopters collide in Argentina

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(CNN) — Two French Olympic medalists were among 10 people killed when two helicopters crashed into each other in Argentina on Monday evening, the country’s state news agency Telam reported.

The helicopters were heading to the town of Villa Castelli in a mountainous area of northwestern Argentina as part of the filming of the reality TV show “Dropped” for the French broadcaster TF1.

Eight French passengers and the choppers’ two Argentinian pilots died in the crash, Telam reported, citing local authorities.

The dead included the swimmer Camille Muffatt, who won three medals at the 2012 Olympics in London; the boxer Alexis Vastine, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; and the sailor Florence Arthaud.

“We learn with immense sadness of the accident that occurred during the filming of the show ‘Dropped,'” TF1 said in a brief statement.

TF1’s staff “come together in this terrible time with the pain of the families and those close to the victims,” it said.

The crash happened within moments of takeoff in good weather conditions, Telam reported, citing witnesses who spoke to a local radio station.

The helicopters, which belonged to local governments in the region, collided about 100 meters (328 feet) above the ground, the news agency said.

Police and investigators were at the scene of the crash.

 

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