An Argentinian television network has shown footage of the moment two helicopters crashed into each other, killing 10 people while filming a reality show.
On Monday, three French sport stars, five French nationals working on the show and two Argentinian pilots died in the crash above the hills of La Rioja, Argentina.
The dramatic footage shows the moment the helicopters smash into one another. Before the crash, the top helicopter can be seen shaving branches off a tree with its blades before crossing paths with the other.
The helicopters then hit each other, before plunging to the ground and exploding in flames. One helicopter was so charred in the crash, the only recognisable feature was its blades.
It is still unknown what caused the collision in the sky during the filming of survival reality show,Dropped, but French officials said they would work with Argentinian investigators to determine the cause of the accident. The Paris prosecutor's office has also opened an investigation into possible involuntary manslaughter. The bodies have been retrieved from the site.
La Rioja's aviation director, Daniel Gorkich, told The Associated Press that both pilots were highly trained and he speculated that afternoon sun and strong winds might have been a factor. At the moment of impact "the sun was setting on the Andes mountain range directly in front of them. Also this is an area with wind gusts," Gorkich said.
The reality show Dropped features celebrities let loose in some of the most inhospitable environments on Earth as they fight for survival. They are provided with only drinking water and a map, and need to find civilisation, source their own food and build their own shelter.
France is mourning the deaths of Olympic gold medal swimmer Camille Muffat, Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud who were contestants on the show, along with director Laurent Sbasnik, journalists Lucy Mei-Dalby and Volodya Guinard, producer Edouard Gilles and artist Brice Guilbert. The pilots killed were Argentineans Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Abate.
Tags: ARGENTINA, DROPPED, English, FRENCH, HELICOPTER CRASH, WORLD