3 rescue workers on a mission to help people caught in floods in southern France lost their lives when their helicopter crashed near Marseille.
On Sunday night, the EC145 aircraft had been on a rescue and reconnaissance flight in the Var region when contact with it was lost, officials said.
The crashed helicopter and the three crew were found near the town of Rove. An investigation is underway.
Heavy rain in south-east France has led to severe flooding and several deaths.
In a statement, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner and his deputy, Laurent Nuñez, described the three victims as "everyday heroes who gave their lives to protect the French".
French media reported that the crash site in hills north of Marseille has been sealed off as police and investigators combed the scene.