British man killed by falling branch at French music festival

Five other spectators were injured by the accident in Tarn

The historic Saint Alain de Lavaur Cathedral, Tarn, France
The festival took place in the les jardins de l’Évêché, next to Lavaur’s historic cathedral

A British man was killed and five other people were injured after several heavy branches fell from a tree onto a crowd during a music festival in the south of France.

The Rock'&'cars festival in Lavaur, Tarn, was cancelled after the branches fell late afternoon on Friday (June 7).

The festival was due to take place in the les jardins de l’Évêché, next to the historic Saint Alain de Lavaur Cathedral.

The branches fell onto an area where around 15 people were awaiting the start of the festival.

Most of them had time to jump out of the way, but six were injured by the collapse, one of whom - a 54-year-old British man who reportedly lived in Ariège - severely.

The Red Cross immediately scrambled to reach the injured people under the debris.

Read more: Family may have to move as cannot uproot ‘dangerous’ tree in France 

“I was under the tree,” festival goer Robert Mosniertold local newspaper Le Tarn Libre. “There was a cracking sound. I just had time to get away from it. The people sitting in front of me were not so lucky. 

“We rushed to get them free from the leaves, but the two branches were really heavy and we needed several people to lift them.”

On Saturday, (June 8) the mayor of Lavaur, Bernard Carayon, announced that the British man, who has not been publicly identified, had died from his injuries.

 “I have expressed our profound compassion to the family in this difficult time. I hope that all the injured people recover quickly from this terrible tragedy,” he told Le Tarn Libre. “Never has such a dramatic event happened in our town.”

The mayor said that the tree’s branches had been cut back only several months ago.

“The accident was impossible to foresee - the branches that fell were green, and nothing indicated that they could fall,” he added.