Three people were swept to their deaths by floodwaters in the south of France and three emergency workers were killed when their helicopter crashed while seeking to rescue victims, officials said Monday.
Twelve people have now been killed in the last 10 days in southeastern France, which has been battered by two successive late autumn storms bringing torrential rain, heavy flooding and high winds.
The EC145 helicopter lost radio and radar contact while on a rescue and reconnaissance flight in the Var region on Sunday night.
The pilot, a technician and a rescue specialist from the fire brigade were found dead at 1:30 am (00:30 GMT) near the town of Rove, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a statement.
Investigators are trying to determine the circumstances of the crash. Fog might have caused bad visibility at the time.
President Emmanuel Macron said in a message on Twitter that the whole country supported the rescuers’ families and colleagues.
The crash came as Macron honoured 13 French soldiers who died when their helicopters collided in Mali last week in an operation against jihadists.