Keyword: southern France
The five Russian citizens are reportedly connected to organised crime and are not believed to have been planning a terrorist operation.
The flooding is considered more serious than the deadly overflows seen in 1999, amid violent storms that have swept the region for many days.
Days of heavy rainfall followed by violent storms have caused flash flooding, with the southern Var département (county) hit worst.
The victims include a mother and child who died after their car was swept off a bridge amid flash flooding caused by exceptional rainfall.
The pair, aged in their 70s, were barricaded in their home in the Pyrenees foothills by their neighbours, also British, over a right of way dispute.
Intense rainfall over SE France, which created powerful waves of water, has also left 4,000 homes without power with more downpours forecast.
A Ukranian passenger of a coach that crashed in southern France leaving two dead has admitted grabbing the wheel during an argument with the driver.