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Extreme weather kills five in southern France, including three rescue workers

A road sign reads "Red alert, avoid your trips" as the french Riviera is under a red alert for heavy rain and floods, in Nice, France, December 1, 2019.
A road sign reads "Red alert, avoid your trips" as the french Riviera is under a red alert for heavy rain and floods, in Nice, France, December 1, 2019. Copyright REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Copyright REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
By Euronews with AFP
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Two people were killed by floods in the French Riviera on Sunday and three emergency workers died in a helicopter crash while on a rescue mission, authorities said.

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Two people were killed by floods in the French Riviera on Sunday and three emergency workers died in a helicopter crash while on a rescue mission, authorities said.

Just a week ago, torrential rains left six dead in the southern French region.

The three emergency workers were killed in a helicopter crash near Marseille, the Interior Ministry said.

" As their EC145 helicopter was heading for Le Luc-Le Cannet (Var) to conduct a reconnaissance and rescue mission, the radio and radar links were broken," the ministry said.

"Despite the deployment of important means of research (...), the three passengers of the helicopter were found dead at 1:30am CET."

An investigation on the circumstances of the crash is underway.

In the Var region, a shepherd was swept away as he was trying to cross a ford in his 4x4 while tending to his flock. His body was found in his vehicle late Sunday night 300 metres (330 yards) downstream from where he was last seen, the prefecture said early Monday.

Elsewhere in the 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.

The Var and the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes region were on red alert for floods which disrupted train services and cut the A8 motorway for four hours Sunday evening.

Many cultural and sporting events were also called off due to the bad weather on Sunday, including Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 match at Monaco.

In the city of Cannes, all schools will remain closed on Monday.

The red alert in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var departments has now been lifted, the Interior Ministry said on Monday morning, but three other departments remain in orange alert for floods.

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