Sisters Elle (left) and Madelaine Crawley (right).
Sisters Elle (left) and Madelaine Crawley (right).

Woman dies on holiday in Rome

A FATAL cocktail of drugs and alcohol is believed to be behind the death of Tweed woman Madelaine Crawley in Italy on Thursday.

The 23-year-old was found unconscious on the floor of her bathroom in the backpacker camp where she was staying.

Fellow Australians on the tour found Miss Crawley and notified authorities, but she suffered a cardiac arrest and could not be revived.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed a second 29-year-old Australian woman was also found unconscious in the room.

At the time of going to press she was in a stable condition after having her stomach pumped.

The women were part of a Contiki group of 50 Australians staying at the Seven Hills campsite north of central Rome.

Italian media, citing authorities in Rome, reported the Contiki group was celebrating its last night at the camp with a large party.

The same reports indicated a cocktail of drugs and alcohol were suspected of being the cause of Miss Crawley's death.

A statement from Contiki Holidays said the group had continued on to its next destination in Venice as planned.

"Contiki Holidays is extremely saddened to confirm the passing of an Australian client, Madelaine Crawley, aged 23, in Rome," the statement read.

"The entire Contiki team is deeply saddened and our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with Madelaine's family and friends, all of whom are being fully supported at this incredibly difficult time."

Staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra are providing consular assistance to the families of both women in Australia.

As the tragic news broke, tributes from loved ones flowed on Facebook.

Miss Crawley's sister Elle wrote: "Your in God's hands now my angel," accompanied by a touching photo of the two girls hugging.

Another friend of Miss Crawley wrote: "Why are the best friends the ones you can go weeks without talking to, never thinking they would be taken? I wish I had rung you every single day. I can't even deal with what's happened."