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Four dead after tourist boat sinks in Italy

Four people have died after a tourist boat sank on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

Italy’s fire service confirmed that a fourth body had been recovered from the lake during a search for a missing person.

Nineteen people are safe after the 52ft (16m) rental boat overturned on Sunday evening in heavy winds.

Unconfirmed reports say that British, Italian and Israeli nationals were among those onboard the vessel, which was hired by tourists celebrating a birthday.

Attilio Fontana, president of the Lombardy region, posted on Facebook that the tragedy had been a “very serious accident”, with rescue divers, the coastguard and a helicopter scrambled.

Italian news outlets have reported that the boat was carrying around 25 people, including two crew, when a storm turned into a “small hurricane”.

Some passengers swam ashore while others were were rescued by other boats.

According to Sky News Italia, the boat departed from Lisanza, near Sesto Calende, and was taken by surprise by the heavy storm near Arona. 

A fire service spokesperson said a search for the vessel has now started.

Video footage posted by firefighters showed debris from the boat floating on the surface of the lake.

(This story is being updated)

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