Detached Glacier Chunk Kills at Least 7 Hikers in Italy, Injuring 8: Reports
·2 min read
At least seven people are dead after a large chunk of a glacier in Italy broke loose Sunday sending debris tumbling down a mountain, according to the Associated Press and the BBC.
After the glacier broke off, ice, snow and rock were sent down the mountain hitting hikers in the Marmolada mountain area, according to authorities, the AP reported.
As of Monday, the death toll was at least seven, and a reported eight people obtained injuries; more than a dozen hikers still remain unaccounted for, the outlet said.
Ten Italians, three from Czechia and one from Austria are among those still missing, based on reports from families whose loved ones had not returned home, according to Maurizio Fugatti — a regional leader from the Trentino-Alto Adige Alpine region — the outlet said.
On Monday, the AP said four unclaimed cars remained in the lot: two cars with plates from Czechia, one from Germany and one from Hungary.
While the initial number of those injured was reported at nine, at a news conference Monday, officials said there were eight people injured including two hospitalized in what was described as "delicate," grave condition, the AP said.
Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico/AP/Shutterstock
According to the outlet, the glacier is the largest in the Dolomite mountains but has been melting quickly in recent years.
Helicopters and canines were used Sunday during the search, which was paused overnight while rescuers looked at the risk of more of the glacier breaking off, Walter Cainelli, who conducted a rescue mission with a search dog, told state television, the AP reported.
According to the BBC, the search had been halted again Monday because of bad weather.
While it is not yet clear exactly what caused the ice to break off, AP said, the uncharacteristically high temperatures in the area are being looked at as a factor.
According to Italy's Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, while the incident was in part "unpredictable," it was also "without doubt linked to the deterioration of the environment and the climate situation," the BBC reported.
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