Floods in southern France kill five, including three in a helicopter crash

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

Three rescuers were killed in the crash of a Civil Security helicopter near Marseille, France, as they were on their way to assist victims of a flood.

The EC145 rescue helicopter lost radio and radar contact with controllers as it headed to Le Luc-Le Carnet in the hilly Var region.

The three - a pilot, a technician and a rescue specialist from the fire brigade - were found dead at 1.30am (00:30 GMT) near the town of Rove, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a statement.

"An investigation will determine the exact circumstances of this tragedy", the statement by the French Ministry of Interior read in part as quoted by DW. Initial reports say the visibility was limited by foggy conditions at the time of the crash. The workers were on a mission to evacuate the people in the flood-hit area of Southern France, which left two people dead.

The soldiers died when two helicopters collided last Monday while pursuing jihadists in northern Mali, where militant violence has soared in recent months.

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"While France is providing today to pay tribute to 13 of its officers who perished serving it (in Mali), our country is missing three everyday heroes who yielded their lives to defend the French, " Nunez and Castaner announced. His body was found in his vehicle late Sunday 300 metres (yards) downstream from where he was last seen, the prefecture said early Monday.

Outside in the region, the proprietor of a stables was discovered lifeless two hours after he was additionally wiped away while out guarding over his animals, it stated.

Torrential rains have inundated parts of southeastern France, where the Var and neighboring Alpes-Maritimes region are on red alert for floods.

Many cultural and sporting events were also called off because of the bad weather, including Paris Saint-Germain´s Ligue 1 match at Monaco.

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