A French reality series has suffered a devastating accident. On Monday, 10 people died when two helicopters collided into one another during the creation of the French series Dropped. The crew was filming in Argentina. The two pilots, along with Dropped crew members and several famous contestants were all killed in the crash. In the aftermath of the gruesome helicopter crash, an investigative inquiry has been set up.
On Tuesday morning, Zodiak Media, the company that produces the French reality series, released a statement expressing sadness at the accident and revealing the names of those who perished in the helicopter crash. Among the dead included three prominent athletes: Florence Arthaud, Camille Muffat and Alexis Vastine. Florence Arthaud was a record-winning sailor who once won the transatlantic yacht race the Route de Rhum. Camille Muffat was an Olympic champion, having won numerous Olympic medals, including a gold 400-meter freestyle medal for swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Alexis Vastine was also an Olympian; he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. in Beijing for boxing.
In addition, five technical crew members were on board and were killed. Those were Laurent Sbasnik, Lucie Mei-Dalby, Volodia Guinard, Brice Guilbert and Edouard Gilles. Finally, the two Argentine pilots of the two aircraft, Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate are both dead. Zodiak Media’s press release says that both men were experienced pilots. Experts or no, a major accident occurred and the air transport police are currently looking into the incident to determine why it happened.
Yesterday’s reports, including one from the BBC, mentioned that Dropped was filming in the north-west region of Argentina near the Andes Mountains. The basic premise of the French reality series involves contestants being dropped off in remote locations around the world. Similar to Survivor, contestants must fend for themselves in terms of finding food and shelter. Eventually, they must find their way to the next helicopter in order to head to another location to be “dropped” again on the series.
Unfortunately, this time no one was dropped. Instead, an explosion occurred, killing everyone on board. The other contestants were not on either helicopter and did not perish in the accident.
The news comes just two years after France’s version of survivor saw a contestant die following complaints of arm cramps on the series. Production was shut down on that season and the show’s doctor later committed suicide after dealing with the pressures of having to explain his side of the story. Safety is generally paramount on reality TV shows, but mistakes can happen. Our thoughts go out to the families of the deceased during this time.