A helicopter searches missing tourists after boat capsized in a storm on Italy's Lago Maggiore on Sunday. AP
Four people, including two foreigners, died when a boat carrying tourists overturned on Lake Maggiore in strong winds, Italy's fire brigade and local media said Monday.
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 the media.
The victims included a middle-aged Israeli man, according to a statement by Israel's foreign ministry.
Two of the other victims were Italian — a man and a woman — while the fourth was Russian woman, the local Varese News website said.
The president of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, said Sunday a "whirlwind" had caused the 16-metre (52-foot) long boat to overturn.
Firefighters search for survivors after a tourist boat capsized in Lake Maggiore, Italy, on Monday. Reuters
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.
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.
Kaikōura Mayor Craig Mackle told the media that the water was dead calm at the time of the accident and the assumption was that a whale had surfaced from beneath the boat.
Boat crews on nearby vessels recovered the bodies of two children and have rescued 19 people from choppy waters, said Emi Frizer, a local Search and Rescue Agency official. Rescuers were searching for the seven others reported as still missing on Monday.
The speedboat was carrying passengers in violation of government restrictions during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, said Rahima Khatun, a top government official in the area.
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