Rome, May 29 (IANS): At least two people were killed and two others remain unaccounted for after a tourist boat carrying over 20 passengers capsized in Italy's Lake Maggiore, media reports said.
The accident took place on Sunday evening between the towns of Sesto Calende and Arona, the BBC reported citing Italian news outlets.
Italy's fire service said 19 people were safe but a search continued for the two missing persons.
In a social media post, president of the Lombardy region Attilio Fontana, said the "very serious incident" was due to bad weather, adding that the 52 ft-long boat was hired by tourists.
According to Italian news site La Repubblica, the boat had been carrying 25 people who were celebrating a birthday when it capsized and sank soon afterwards.
Everyone onboard went into the water -- but many of the passengers swam ashore or were rescued by other boats, local media outlets reported.
Rescue divers and a helicopter have been deployed in the ongoing search operation.
Lake Maggiore, a popular tourist destination on the south side of the Alps. is shared by both Italy and Switzerland.