7 Nov 2013

New Caledonia firefighter dies in road accident

2:52 pm on 7 November 2013

A New Caledonian volunteer firefighter has died in a road accident on her way to help extinguish a forest fire near Thio.

The woman reportedly tried to evade an oncoming car and lost control of her vehicle and crashed.

The 22-year-old woman, who was pregnant, wasn't wearing a seat belt and thrown from the vehicle and killed.

According to the New Caledonian government, she was the territory's first firefighter to die in the line of duty.

Condolence messages have been sent by both the French overseas territories minister and the French interior minister.

The fire season in New Caledonia this year has destroyed about 20 square kilometres of vegetation.