Video emerges of deadly helicopter crash

Video images emerged on Tuesday of the moment when two helicopters carrying participants and crew from a French reality TV show collided in mid-air.

Champion sailor Florence Arthaud, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine were among those killed when two helicopters filming the survival series “Dropped” crashed into each other in the rugged mountains of north west Argentina.

“Apparently, the two helicopters collided as they were filming. There are no survivors,” provincial spokesman Horacio Alarcon told AFP earlier.

Later on Tuesday video footage was released that shows the moment the two helicopters collided in mid-air before plunging towards the ground.

It is still not clear what caused the crash with provincial spokesman Horacio Alarcon saying the weather conditions were good.

France has opened up an investigation into manslaughter and two judges will be sent to Argentine to carry out their own probe into the mid-air crash.

Recovery teams arrive

Argentine recovery teams arrived Tuesday at the site of a helicopter collision to recover the bodies of 10 people, including French sports stars participating in a reality TV show.

Aviation experts made it to the crash site in a mountainous area northwest of Buenos Aires in the early hours, said Judge Virginia Illanes Bordon.

“In a short while we will begin the task of recovery of the bodies,” she told TN News

'Sadness and emotion'

Reaction to the tragedy and tributes to the victims poured in on Tuesday.

A statement from the Elysée Palace said President François Hollande learned about the deaths “with immense shock and emotion” and expressed “condolences and support” to the victims' friends and families.

“Immense sadness over this tragedy. The whole of France is in mourning today. Thoughts go to the families of the victims,” tweeted French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

IN PICTURES: Helicopter crash kills 10, including French sports stars




Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French sports stars to return home after crash

Four top French athletes and crew from a reality TV show were cleared to return home on Thursday after the tragic helicopter crash which killed 10 cast members and colleagues.

French sports stars to return home after crash
The remains of one of the helicopters that crashed in Argentina, killing ten people. Photo: Screengrab BFM TV

Investigating judge Daniel Herrera gave the green light for Olympic champion swimmer Alain Bernard, figure skater Philippe Candeloro, cycling legend Jeannie Longo and snowboarder Anne-Flore Marxer to return after questioning them about Monday's crash in Argentina's remote northwest.

The final participant on the show, former international and Arsenal footballer Sylvain Wiltord, had already returned to France before the crash.

"I spoke to the people I needed to speak and gathered their testimony and I have decided to allow all members of the production and participants to return to their country," Herrera told AFP.

There were no survivors in Monday's deadly collision between two helicopters that were filming the reality series "Dropped" in the rugged terrain of La Rioja province.

The crash killed Olympic champion swimmer Camille Muffat, renowned yachtswoman Florence Arthaud and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine, as well as five French television crew members and two Argentine pilots.

An agent for one of the sports stars spoken to Thursday said the entire group would take a Friday night flight to France, arriving in Paris Saturday morning — a plan confirmed by a source close to the case.

A team of officers from France's gendarmerie police force was meanwhile en route to join their Argentine counterparts to comb through the charred wreckage of the helicopters and work to identify the bodies.

Investigators from France's air accident investigation authority, the BEA, as well as helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters and engine maker Turbomeca, are already working at the scene, where they have begun dismantling the aircraft, looking for clues.

Argentine forensic experts are waiting for their French counterparts to arrive to begin identifying the victims' remains, a local coroner said.

Investigators will have to rely on dental records or DNA tests to identify the badly burned bodies, officials say.

"Dropped," which was to air on French channel TF1 but was immediately canceled after the crash, featured sports stars who were taken blindfolded into rugged environments and given 72 hours to get to a place where they could charge a mobile phone.

Initial investigations indicate the crash was caused by human error, officials say.