France charges Swede over 2015 deadly reality TV crash

2 min

Paris (AFP)

French judicial authorities have charged a Swedish man with involuntary homicide over a 2015 helicopter crash in Argentina that killed 10 people, including sports stars, working on a reality TV series.

His indictment by the investigating magistrate in the case marks the first time anyone has been charged over the collision of two helicopters during filming for the French television series "Dropped".

The man charged is Peter Hoegberg, head of security during the 2015 filming of the show for French television.

He had already performed the same role for other versions of the show, including in Sweden.

BFMTV said the former soldier is suspected of not having checked the competence, qualifications and health of the helicopter pilots.

Contacted by AFP, his lawyer Axel Maldonado declined to comment.

Lawyer Solenn Le Tutour, who represents relatives of the victims, said the charges were a first step that should lead to action against other people as well.

"He was in a subordinate position. If he has been indicted then others should also be indicted," the lawyer told AFP.

Renowned yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, Olympic champion swimmer Camille Muffat, and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine were victims of the crash.

Being charged in France does not mean a suspect will necessarily end up on trial, however.

"Dropped," which was to air on French channel TF1 but was immediately cancelled, featured sports stars taken blindfolded into rugged environments and given 72 hours to get to a place where they could charge a cell phone.

In 2015, an investigation in Argentina concluded that the crash was caused by errors on the part of the two Argentine pilots who also died in the accident.

A French court in April 2018 found the producers of the show liable for the death of a cameraman in the accident, declaring that his death was the result of an "unforgivable mistake" on the part of the producers.