Helicopter crash kills 3 in France

Three emergency workers were killed after their helicopter crashed in Bouche-du-Rhone in flood-struck southern France while they were on rescue mission, officials said on Monday.

An EC145 helicopter, which was on a rescue and reconnaissance flight mission in the southern region of Var, lost radio and radar contact on Sunday night, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and his Secretary of State Laurent Nunez said in a joint statement.

The three rescuers were found dead near the town of Rove, they added. An inquiry was underway to determine the cause of the accident.

A new episode of heavy rainfall had triggered raging floods in the French Riviera where two people were reported dead, a week after month-worth rain had left six dead.

In the Var region, an owner of a stable was found dead after he was swept away while he was watching over his animals. A lifeless body of the second victim was discovered in his vehicle late Sunday night, the prefecture said in a statement.

National weather forecaster Meteo France had put three regions in Southeast France on orange alert on floods risk. It maintained the alert system in these areas till Tuesday morning.