Nine people from two families have been killed on the Italian island of Sicily after a river burst its banks and flooded a house outside Palermo.
Fierce winds and rains have killed more than 20 people in Italy this week and razed thousands of hectares of forest in the country’s devastated north before moving south at the weekend.
The two families were spending the night in the villa in Casteldaccia, part of the Palermo district, following the All Souls holiday long weekend, when the swollen Milicia river flooded it. Three children – ages one, three and 15 – lost their lives.
Three of the party survived – an adult and a child who had left the building on an errand and a child who was outside and clung onto a tree as the waters rose.
Prosecutors in Sicily have visited the villa and have formally launched an investigation. Magistrates are trying to determine whether the house was constructed in an area prone to flooding risk.
“We suspect the villa was built too close from the Milicia river,” said Ambrogio Cartosio, a prosecutor in Termini Imerese. “But it’s too early to talk about potential charges.” Read more