French sports stars among 10 dead in Argentina helicopter crash

Updated: 2015-03-10 09:21


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French sports stars among 10 dead in Argentina helicopter crash

Former Route du Rhum sailing race winner Florence Arthaud leaves the dock after saying goodbye to competitors at Saint-Malo harbour, French Brittany in this October 30, 2010 file photo. French President Francois Hollande's office confirmed on March 10, 2015 that eight French nationals were among 10 killed in an accident involving two helicopters in Argentina. The Elysee Palace said in a statement that famed sailor Arthaud, Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and boxer Alexis Vastine were among the dead. It added that the accident happened during the filming of a TV programme for the TF1 TV channel. [Photo/Agencies]

Arthaud, 57, was one of the first women to carve a place for herself in the world of sailing and in 1990 secured the record for the fastest solitary crossing of the North Atlantic, according to her publisher's site.

Muffat, 25, won 400 metres freestyle gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Vastine, 28, won bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

"I am sad for my friends, I'm shaking, I'm horrified, I can't find the words," Tweeted Sylvain Wiltord, ex-footballer for English Premier League club Arsenal and fellow cast member.

The victims included the helicopters' two pilots, Cesar Angulo, La Rioja's security chief, told reporters earlier.

"There were no survivors, according to the information we have," Angulo said.

Argentina's official news agency Telam said one of the helicopters belonged to the provincial government and the other to organizers of a survival competition that had been held for three years near the village of Villa Castelli.