Contestant dies filming French version of Survivor TV show

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 2:48am


Filming of the French version of the television show Survivor has been cancelled after a contestant died of a heart attack on a Cambodian island on the first day.

French broadcaster TF1 said it had axed the series of the reality show after 25-year-old Gerald Babin fell ill on Friday during filming on Koh Rong, off Cambodia's southwestern coast.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the television crew had planned to spend five months in the kingdom.

"The contestants have already gone home," he said. "The family members have arrived in Cambodia to collect the body."

According to Adventure Line Productions, which was filming the show for TF1, Babin complained of cramps during one of the challenges set for contestants and received emergency medical care from the show's doctor.

It did not say what he was doing at the time.

Babin was airlifted to hospital but later died, according to Cambodian police, who said there were no suspicious circumstances. "There will be no further investigation because he died from a heart attack," local deputy police chief Kol Phally said.

According to TF1 Babin had a medical examination during the show's selection process.

Survivor brings together contestants to fend for themselves in the wilderness to compete for prizes and money.

The original Swedish show has since been adapted for dozens of international versions, some of which have also been struck by tragedy in the past.

In 2009, a 53-year-old contestant on the Bulgarian version of the show died of a heart attack during filming in the Philippines.

The same year, a 32-year-old participant on the Pakistani adaptation drowned in Thailand.