At least five children of the same family in France died in a road accident, local media reported.
The accident occurred just before 7:00 p.m. (1700GMT) near the town of Albon in the Drome department when the brakes of the vehicle gave way, causing it to swerve in and out of the highway lanes before landing in a field next to train tracks by the side of the road, according to the broadcaster franceinfo.
The minivan was turned upside down and a fire broke out on it.
A family of nine were on board the vehicle. The parents, a sister-in-law, and one child managed to escape the inferno, while five children died after getting trapped inside the burning vehicle.
The children who perished were aged between three and 14.
The cause of the accident and of the blaze is currently under investigation.
The family had been returning home to Venissieux, a town near Lyon, from vacation when the accident happened.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin rushed to the scene along with Minister Delegate for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.
“We think of these particularly bereaved families,” Darmanin said with regard to the group involved, and called on the public “to be careful, especially when they have children on board.”
The injured were transported to hospitals in Lyon by three helicopters manned by firefighters. A total of 53 firefighters came to their aid.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.