French rescuers save 30 from sudden floodwaters

20th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Emergency workers using helicopters saved two dozen people in southern France, around the town of Ales, on Saturday after heavy overnight rain caused flash floods.

Eight major rescues were carried out by 200 firemen backed by four helicopters, local authorities said.

"Twenty-five people were rescued, some of whom were in extremely critical situations," the regional government official, Didier Martin, said.

Floodwaters rushed into 400 homes and over dozens of cars.

"I saw my life flash before my eyes.... It's scary when you see it on TV, but when it happens it's even worse," one of those rescued, Gaelle Astier, 32, told AFP.

She was saved after calling firemen from inside her car, which was carried off by the water as she was driving to work before dawn.

"They tied a rope to me and got me out of the car. I had muddy water up to the chest," she said.

Some 40 people were put up in an emergency shelter in a gym in Ales. The floodwaters subsided later Saturday.

© 2014 AFP

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