17:44 10 March 2015
A mid-air smash between two helicopters in Argentina has killed champion sailor Florence Arthaud, Olympic gold medal swimmer Camille Muffat, and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastin. Two Argentinian pilots and five other French nationals were also killed while filming the survival series Dropped in a rugged mountain range in La Rioja province.
Arsenal footballer Sylvain Wiltord avoided the accident as he was voted off the show the day before.
Meanwhile, reports confirmed that prosecutors in Paris have opened a manslaughter inquiry although the cause of the crash is yet to be determined.
The bodies of the victims remained untouched as investigating magistrate Virginia Illanes Bordon ordered the crash site be cordoned off until air accident investigators arrive.
French President Francois Hollande in a statement published on the website of the French daily Liberation: 'The brutal demise of our compatriots is an immense sadness.'
'The whole of French sport is in mourning because we have lost three huge champions,' French Sports Minister Thierry Braillard told RTL radio.
'Florence Arthaud - we all knew her as the 'Fiancee of the Atlantic',' he added, using Arthaud's nickname.
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