20232304 kite festival
People fly kites during the 35th International Kite Festival (RICV) at the beach of Berck-sur-Mer, northern France. Image Credit: AFP

Lille, France: Eleven people were injured, four seriously, after a car ploughed into a crowd at an international kite-flying festival in northern France on Saturday, officials said.

The accident was caused by a disabled 76-year-old driver who "confused the accelerator and brake pedals", a statement from the local prosector's office said.

The accident happened in the early evening at the seaside town of Berck-sur-Mer where hundreds of thousands of people gather each year for the festival.

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Four women, including two pensioners aged 75 and 82, are being treated for life-threatening head injuries in intensive care, the emergency services and local officials said.

The driver, who was lightly injured in the accident, faces a possible charge of causing injuries unintentionally.

Popular with families and drawing visitors from around the world, the annual Berck-sur-Mer festival is held over several days, featuring acrobatic kite flying shows and build-your-own workshops.

One of the 11 injured was a four-year-old girl who suffered shock after witnessing the accident, an official said.