Three dead in helicopter crash in southern France

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On the way to an operation near Marseille, three civil protection forces died in a helicopter crash.

Marseille. In action against the severe thunderstorms in southern France, three civil protection forces were killed in a helicopter crash during the night of Monday. The accident occurred at around 1:30 am near Marseille, the Home Office said. The three helpers were on the way to a rescue operation.

The EC145 helicopter lost its radio and radar contact during a reconnaissance and rescue flight. According to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and his Secretary of State Laurent Nunez, the three rescue workers were found near the town of Le Rove in the Var department.

Two men carried by floods

In the department, two people were killed by the storm on Sunday. A stables owner from Frejus died, according to the prefecture of the department, when he was torn away from the floods, while he took care of his animals. In the village of Saint-Paul-en-Foret, a shepherd in his car was also torn away from the floods. His body was later found 300 meters further in his car.

Because of severe weather warnings was on Sunday in the departments of Var and Alpes-Maritimes the highest alert level. Particularly affected were the coastal areas on the French Riviera and there especially the two popular resorts Saint-Tropez and Sainte-Maxime and their surroundings. The train service in the region was partially discontinued.

Torrential rains had already led to unusually heavy floods in the two departments a week ago. Roads turned into rivers, rails were flooded, hundreds of residents had to leave their homes. Six people died. The state of emergency still applies to just under 150 municipalities.

(AFP)

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