2,000 search for flood girl's body

Massive turnout in the Var as volunteers scour 20km of coastline for girl who was swept away in floods two weeks ago

13 December 2014

ALMOST 2,000 volunteers have spent the weekend searching the Var coastline for the body of an eight-year-old girl who disappeared in fierce storms a fortnight ago.

The search operation centered around La Londe-mes-Maures, where 800 people gathered at dawn on Saturday to take part.

Other helpers followed coastal paths and scoured beaches along a 20km stretch from Hyères to Le Lavandou, working in groups of about 30.

Coastguards, customs workers and the fire brigade also took part in the massive operation, with 20 boats searching the Mediterranean for the young girl's body.

The bodies of four people, including the girl's mother, were found shortly after the violent storm that hit the local area on November 27, but the eight-year-old remains missing.

The group were heading back from school in a car which was swept away by the Maravenne river, which had burst its banks.

The mayor of La Londe-les-Maures, François de Canson, described today's search as a "last-chance operation".

It was organised by one of the neighbours of the girl's bereaved father as a display of solidarity.

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