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Mar 10, 2015 11:00 AM

Helicopter collision latest in reality TV deaths

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) The deaths of 10 people in a collision of two helicopters is the latest in a long list of fatalities involving reality TV shows around the world.

Here is a list of some of most infamous incidents over the past few years.

KOH LANTA In March 2013, 25-year-old participant Gerard Babin died of a heart attack on the first day of filming the castaway island reality show "Koh Lanta" in Cambodia. The ALP-produced show, the French version of "Survivor," was canceled, and the program's on-site doctor committed suicide. The doctor, Thierry Costa, blamed the press for damaging his professional reputation following Babin's death. In his suicide note, Costa's last wish was to be cremated in Cambodia so that his body would not return to France.

BUCKWILD In April 2013, a star of MTV's "BUCKWILD" reality TV show and two others were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in an SUV stuck in a mud pit in Sissonville, West Virginia. Shain Gandee, 21, nicknamed "Gandee Candy" by fans, was a breakout star of the show that followed the antics of young friends enjoying their wild country lifestyle. Shooting was underway on season two at the time of Gandee's death. MTV canceled the show.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL In February 2013, cast member Michael Donatelli, 45, pilot David Gibbs, 59, and cameraman Darren Rydstrom, 46, were killed in a helicopter crash while filming a scene for an untitled military-themed show being produced for the Discovery Channel.

BANGKOK In August 2009, a 32-year-old contestant drowned during filming a Pakistani reality TV show, which had not yet been named. Saad Khan was swimming across a lake while wearing a 15-pound (7-kilogram) backpack when he called out for help and then disappeared in murky waters of a lake in the Thai capital of Bangkok. Divers later recovered Khan's body.

SURVIVOR In May 2009, a 53-year-old contestant on Bulgaria's version of "Survivor" died of a heart attack while filming an episode on an island in the Philippines. Noncho Vodenicharov, a town mayor and former stuntman and singer, had just finished an activity for the contest at the Gota Beach Resort in Caramoan township in eastern Camarines Sur province when he died.

THE CROCODILE HUNTER In September 2006, 44-year-old Steve Irwin was killed by the poisonous spine of a stringray as he swam with the creature while shooting a TV show on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine experts called the death a freak accident. They said rays reflexively deploy a sharp spine in their tails when frightened, but the venom coating the barb usually causes a very painful, but survivable, sting for humans.


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