- Written by Francesca Gillett
- BBC News
Local media said that two people died after a boat carrying more than 20 passengers, including tourists, sank in strong winds on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.
Two more are missing, according to reports.
Italian media reported that the boat capsized on Sunday evening between the towns of Sesto Calende and Arona.
Attilio Fontana, president of the Lombardy region, said the “very serious accident” was caused by bad weather.
He said on Facebook that the boat was 16 meters (52 feet) long and had been rented by tourists.
According to the news website La Repubblica, the boat was carrying 25 people who were celebrating a birthday when it capsized and sank shortly thereafter.
Other Italian media reported that all of the passengers on board took to the water – but many of the passengers swam to shore or were rescued by other boats.
Rescue divers and a helicopter to assist in the search were scrambled at the southern end of the lake, and several ambulances and an ambulance attended the scene.
A video posted by firefighters showed chairs and other debris floating in the choppy waters.
Lake Maggiore – on the southern side of the Alps – is shared by Italy and Switzerland, and is a popular destination for tourists.
The region experienced bad weather over the past day, with the Italian Meteorological Service issuing thunderstorm warnings.
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