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Reality TV programs are generally extremely keen regarding the safety of contestants and crew, but accidents do still happen. Over the weekend, the MTV series The Challenge was filming in Argentina when two people associated with filming the reality series crashed in a helicopter. The accident is currently under investigation, although MTV and co-producer Bunim/Murray Productions says that neither person killed was a direct crew member or contestant on the show. Instead, the helicopter had been subcontracted out during the day of filming.
The names of those involved with the crash have not yet been released, but we do know the crash occurred at the Potrerillos de Mendoza dam in Argentina. The dam is located a little over 600 miles from Buenos Aires. The helicopter was on the way to The Challenge shoot when it went down. The wreckage currently lies at 200 ft under the water, and the BBC reports that divers are having difficulty getting to the bodies in the helicopter in order to bring them away from the wreckage. The pilot and a technician were killed during the crash.
Accidents do happen on reality TV shows. Back in March, a French reality series was filming, also in Argentina, when two helicopters collided into one another. During that incident, two pilots, several crew members and several famous cast members were all killed, including Olympic athletes Camille Muffat, who had won a swimming medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and Alexis Vastine, who had won a medal for boxing. Obviously, the shock factor is a little higher when someone famous dies, but the result of the helicopter crash is no less sad.
You may be familiar with The Challenge by multiple names. The series is a Road Rules and Real World spinoff whereupon former cast members from each show compete to win cash prizes. The show used to be called Real World/Road Rules Challenge, but then was shortened over the years to reach new audiences. A new season, subtitled Rivals III, is currently shooting and is expected to premiere on MTV in 2016.
Obviously, safety is paramount on TV shows, but accidents and tragedies do happen. Last year, a Cops cameraman was shot and killed while filming an episode of the series. Contestants have gotten hurt when filming shows like Dancing with the Stars, Splash and Survivor, as well. These things happen sometimes, despite the best efforts of the cast and crew to stay safe.
Obviously, our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of the downed helicopter workers at this time. We also hope the cast and crew of The Challenge stay safe as the series finishes wrapping up filming before the new season premieres.