Helicopter Crash Kills 3 French Sports Stars, 7 Others


Tributes are being paid to three former French Olympians who were killed in a helicopter crash on March 10th during the filming of a reality TV show, Dropped. The helicopter crash occurred during the filming, when two helicopters collided in mid-air. Among the 2 helicopters, there was a total of 10 people involved in the fatal crash.

French athletes Camille Muffat,  Alexis Vastine, and Florence Arthaud were the three killed in the crash. Muffat, 28, won three medals, including a gold medal in the 400m freestyle in the 2012 London Olympics. She retired from swimming in 2014. Vastine was 28 when he was killed. He won bronze at the 2008 Beijing olympics in the light-welterweight category. He was narrowly beaten in quarterfinals of the 2012 games. Arthaud, 57, was an accomplished sailor, winning the 1990 Route du Rhum, the respected solo Atlantic race. A serious car crash put Arthaud in a coma when she was 17.

France is still in mourning as they lost these three beloved sports stars. As France remains in shock, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted his “immense sadness” saying “all France is grieving this morning.” These three Olympians were said to be “among the most outstanding ambassadors for our country” by Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin. Filming for this reality TV show had only begun in early of last month in Argentina, and had since moved to the western province of Rioja. Weather conditions were reported good in the mountainous area where the helicopters went down. Remaining crew members were standing in the distance blindfolded, waiting for the rest to land.

The television channel says the reality show will be postponed; the remaining crewmembers have been sent home.