A contestant on the French version of Survivor is dead. During the filming of a challenge in Cambodia on the first day of taping a new season — the 16th cycle of the long-running franchise – 25-year-old Gérald Babin suffered a heart attack. By the time he arrived at a Cambodian hospital, he was pronounced dead.
Called Koh-Lanta, after a region of Thailand, the French version of Survivor has never experienced such a tragedy before. After Babin's death, producers immediately scrapped filming the season and sent the contestants back to France.
In a statement, Koh-Lanta's network, TF1, said, “Gérald Babin, 25, a participant in the 16th season of Koh-Lanta died today of cardiac arrest during the first day of filming in Cambodia. … All their thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his girlfriend and his family. It was immediately decided to stop filming and repatriate as soon as possible all the teams in Paris.”
There have been a number of close calls on the American version of Survivor, hosted by Jeff Probst. On the second iteration of the series, Survivor: The Australian Outback, contestant Michael Skupin lost consciousness after standing over a fire and inhaling the smoke, causing him to collapse into the flames and burn his hands. He has evacuated by helicopter for treatment of his injuries and forfeited his spot on the show. There's never been a fatality, though. The Bulgarian version of Survivor, however, did suffer a fatality in 2009.
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