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Four dead after boat overturns on Italy's Lake Maggiore

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Four dead after boat overturns on Italy's Lake Maggiore
Four people were found dead after a tourist boat sank on Lake Maggiore on Sunday, May 28th. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP.

Four people, including members of the Italian and Israeli intelligence services, died when a boat overturned on Lake Maggiore in strong winds, officials said on Monday.

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The boat tipped over on Sunday evening off Lisanza, at the southern end of the lake in northern Italy, after the weather suddenly turned stormy.

"The bodies of four people have been recovered," fire brigade spokesman Luca Cari told AFP.

Israel's foreign ministry said one of the dead was a former member of the country's security forces in his fifties.

Two others were Italian, a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman who both worked in the intelligence services, Italy's security services said.

"The two employees, belonging to the intelligence department, were taking part in a convivial meeting organised to celebrate the birthday of one of the group," it said.

Media reports said the fourth victim was a 50-year-old Russian woman, the partner of the boat's captain.

President of the Lombardy region Attilio Fontana said on Sunday a "whirlwind" had caused the 16-metre-long boat to overturn.

Firefighters on Sunday said 19 people had survived the accident, with media reports suggesting some had been picked up by passing boats while others swam to shore.

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The boat had been carrying both Italian and foreign tourists, and it sank quickly, taking one of the victims with it, according to reports.

A firefighters' video showed a search and rescue helicopter flying over choppy waters, where chairs and other debris could be seen floating.

Lake Maggiore, which lies on the south side of the Alps, is the second largest lake in Italy and a popular tourist destination.

Initial reports that some of the tourists involved were British were denied by an embassy official.

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