Three rescue workers killed in helicopter crash in France Europe 10:34

Clay Curtis
December 5, 2019

Three rescuers died in a helicopter crash during an overnight mission near the southern French city of Marseille, authorities said.

Their EC145 helicopter lost radio and radar contact while on a rescue and reconnaissance flight in the Var region.

Storms in the Var region led to six deaths, causing serious disruptions to traffic and rail services.

Hundreds of people had lined streets earlier as the motorcade bearing the coffins crossed the ornate Alexandre III bridge heading for the Invalides military hospital and museum.

The ministry sent condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims of the crash and said that investigations to determine the full circumstances of the crash had been initiated. Initial reports say the visibility was limited by foggy conditions at the time of the crash.

French police and firefighters work around the site where a helicopter from the civil security services crashed while en route to help people caught up in heavy flooding, in Le Rove near Les-Pennes-Mirabeau, France, on December 2, 2019.

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In the Var region, an owner of a stable was found dead after he was swept away while he was watching over his animals. His body was later found in the 4x4 further downstream.

Elsewhere in the same region, the owner of a stables was found dead two hours after he was also washed away while out watching over his animals, it said, while a woman was found dead in her auto.

Residents described violent walls of water that crashed through doors and quickly inundated homes.

Rocks destroyed several houses and injured two people, the local prefecture said, citing the "highly unfavourable weather conditions of these past few days" which it said had rendered some of the terrain above the village unstable.

The French government rushed hundreds of rescue workers to the flood zone and helicopters buzzed overhead.

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