An investigation has been opened in New Caledonia into a road accident that left three people dead and nine others seriously injured.
The crash involving three vehicles occurred on the main road south from Noumea to Mont-Dore late on Saturday night.
First reports said in one vehicle there were six people and in another five but it was not immediately clear in which directions the cars were travelling.
It was reported that one vehicle apparently drove onto the main road triggering a crash after which a third vehicle hit the scene.
The reports said those who died were two women and a man.
Nine people, reportedly with serious injuries, were taken to hospital.
The crash prompted the road to be closed for several hours.
Until the weekend accident, New Caledonia's road toll this year had been 15.