Girl found alive after massacre

Four-year-old hid under dead mother's legs after gun attack on British car that left mum, dad and grandmother dead

A FOUR-year-old girl has been found alive and unhurt under her dead mother's legs after a gun attack on a British car in a forest near Lake Annecy which left four people including her father, mother and grandmother dead.

Police had been told not to open the doors of the BMW estate until gendarmerie forensic investigators arrived from Paris - eight hours after the attack.

Another seven-year-old girl had earlier been found alive close by the car. She had been shot three times and was taken seriously injured to hospital in Grenoble where doctors later said she her life was now out of danger.

The fourth victim was a cyclist from the Annecy area who is thought to have chanced upon the killings in a forest car park at Chevaline and been shot.

The attack happened around 16.00 and police were told not to disturb the scene until the forensics team arrived - and could not even open the doors for fear of disturbing window glass broken by the bullets.

It was not until 23.00 that police were told that a British family with two girls was missing from a campsite at Saint-Jorioz, halfway down Lake Annecy in the Alps, and they started to search the area again.

Eric Maillaud, the prosecutor at Annecy, said the girl found in the car "spoke in English. She heard noises and cries but she could not say any more: "she's only four years old."

The two girls were now being protected by police and Mr Maillaud added that they did not know when they would be able to question the seven-year-old, "she is in a state of shock".

Police said they found at least 15 bullet casings from an automatic pistol at the scene which was discovered by another cyclist who arrived just minutes after the gunman fled. He had been passed a short time earlier by the first cyclist who was killed.

Several witnesses have said they saw a car being driven away from the scene at high speed.

Kara Owen, the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Paris, is in Annecy with consular staff to help with possible identification of the victims. The embassy said: "Our thoughts are with friends and family involved. We are working closely with French authorities to establish more information."

Screengrab from BFMTV/YouTube