Three friends were filmed sharing a final embrace before being swept away by flash floods in Italy

Three young friends, including a married couple, were filmed embracing each other before being swept away by floods in northern Italy.

Patricia Kormos, 20, her friend Bianca Duros, 23, and her boyfriend Christian Molnar, 25, decided to take a walk along the Natisone River near Udine in the northern Friuli region when the river level rose to dangerous levels after days of heavy rain.

The two women and the man, all in their 20s, were last seen alive on Friday standing deep in rushing river water on a small island they had walked to in the middle of the river.

A video shared from the scene while rescue efforts were underway showed the three hugging each other as they remained trapped in the rising torrent, unable to reach the river bank.

Bianca Dorros

Bianca Dorros

Christian MolnarChristian Molnar

Christian Molnar

Patricia KormosPatricia Kormos

Patricia Kormos

“We threw a rope at them, but the floodwaters swallowed them up before our eyes. We watched them disappear,” said Giorgio Basile, chief of regional firefighters in Udine.

On Sunday, two bodies, believed to be those of Ms Kormos and Ms Duros, a Romanian who was said to have been visiting her family, were found about 1,000 meters (1,100 yards) from where they were last seen. As the search for Molnar, also Romanian, continued, prosecutors opened an investigation into the tragedy.

One of the women made an emergency call to police at around 1.35pm on Friday, and firefighters quickly arrived at the scene. A firefighter urged them to stay together from a nearby bridge while emergency workers tried to throw them a rope, but the swift current swept them away.

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Firefighters and other emergency workers have been using drones, boats and divers to comb the river for any sign of those missing since Friday. One of the women’s handbag was reportedly found containing the mobile phone that made their emergency call.

“The main element is not so much the rain as the strength of the river and the very strong currents,” Basile said. “There are valleys, there is backwashing of water, and even for experts, it is a particularly treacherous task.”

Torrential flooding has caused widespread chaos across northern Italy in areas including Milan, Varese and Cremona over the past two weeks. Violent storms hit the Friuli and Veneto regions in mid-May, and more rain is expected in northern Italy this week.

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