VILLA CASTELLI, Argentina (CNN) — Two helicopters crashed into each other in Argentina on Monday, killing 10 people, the country’s state news agency Telam reported. Eight of the dead were French citizens and two were Argentinians, the agency reported, citing police official Fabian Gordillo.
A manslaughter investigation has been opened, a representative for the Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday. It is standard procedure to launch an investigation if French nationals die abroad. The probe will be led by the Air Transport Gendarmerie, the representative said. Three of the French nationals killed were well-known sports personalities; two Argentinians also died.
IOC President Bach mourns French athletes
Olympic swimming gold medalist Camille Muffat, boxing bronze medalist Alexis Vastine and pioneering sailor Florence Arthaud were among the 10 people killed when two helicopters filming a reality TV show crashed Monday.
Bach says Tuesday: “We are shocked by this sad news. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these great athletes who have left us.”
Bach says “the world of sport and the Olympic family have lost three of their key members.”
He adds the athletes “were all no only champions in their sport but also contributed greatly as role models.”
Bach says the Olympic flag will be flown at half-staff for three days at International Olympic Committee headquarters.