Video shows moment glacier collapses in Italian Alps – at least six dead and 17 missing

Source: : 2022-07-03 21:18:00 :

At least six people hiking along a popular Alpine trail in northeastern Italy were killed on Sunday when a large chunk of glacier broke loose.

The pouring down of ice, snow and rock slammed into a group hiking in the Dolomites, killing six of them and injuring nine others, according to authorities.

It could not be determined how many people were in the area at the time, according to Walter Milan, a spokesperson for the national Alpine rescue corps.

However, Trento prosecutor Sandro Raimondi said that 17 hikers were believed to be missing, the Italian news agency LaPresse reported.

The Alpine rescue service picture shows where an ice glacier collapsed on hikers
The Alpine rescue service picture shows where an ice glacier collapsed on hikers

Mr Milan said that of those injured and taken to hospital, two were in a serious condition.

Helicopters and rescue dogs were involved in the search around the area of the Marmolada peak, according to the National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps.

At over 3,300m Marmolada is the highest peak in the Dolomites.

The emergency dispatch service said that 18 people who were above the area where the ice struck will be evacuated by the Alpine rescue corps.

“A breaking away of rock provoked the opening of a crevasse on the glacier, leaving about 15 people involved,” the emergency dispatchers said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the section of ice to break away and rush down the peak’s slope.

However the intense heatwave gripping Italy since late June could be a factor, Mr Milan told RAI state TV.

“The heat is unusual,” Mr Milan said, noting that temperatures in recent days on the peak had topped 10C.

“That’s extreme heat” for the peak, Mr Milan said. “Clearly it’s something abnormal.”

The rescue services said those who were injured were flown to several hospitals in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto.

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