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Three friends seen hugging before being swept away by floodwaters in Italy | World News

Three friends were seen hugging each other moments before being swept away by flash flooding.

The two women and a man, all aged in their 20s, were captured on camera embracing after finding themselves suddenly surrounded by rapidly rising waters in Italy.

The trio got into difficulties after going for a walk along the Natisone River, near Udine, on Friday afternoon, local media reported.

As the water levels suddenly swelled, the group realised they were trapped and alerted passers-by

Firefighters were called and crews quickly arrived at the scene.

They attempted to rescue the group by throwing them a rope – but the trio were unable to reach it, according to reports.

The bodies of two women were found in two separate locations around 1km further down the river on Sunday, Corriere della Sera newspaper said.

Their families have been informed.

The search for the man is continuing.

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The women have been identified in reports as a 20-year-old female student and a 23-year-old woman from Romanian, who had recently arrived in Italy to visit her parents.

The man, aged 25, is said to be the boyfriend of the older woman and is also Romanian.

A handbag belonging to one of the women, with her mobile phone still inside, was discovered by search teams on Saturday.

More than 80 people have been involved in the search.

Local newspaper Messaggero Veneto reported the that temperature of the water was “very low” when the group were swept away.

It said the crews who found the bodies described the scene as “heartbreaking”.

The flooding came after days of heavy rain in the region – and across other parts of Europe too.

A firefighter has died in southern Germany while trying to rescue people cut off by floodwaters.

Another firefighter and a 43-year-old woman are also missing.

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