Detached Glacier Chunk Kills at Least 7 Hikers in Italy, Injuring 8: Reports

Detached Glacier Chunk Kills at Least 7 Hikers in Italy, Injuring 8: Reports

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.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Autonomous Province of Trento/AP/Shutterstock (13017112e) This undated image made available, by the press office of the Autonomous Province of Trento shows the glacier in the Marmolada range of Italy's Alps near Trento from which a large chunk has broken loose Sunday, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Drones were being used to spot any more bodies on an Italian Alpine mountainside a day after a huge chunk of a glacier broke loose, sending an avalanche of ice, snow, and rocks onto hikers. Rescuers on Sunday spotted six bodies and said nine survivors were injured. Attention on Monday was focused on determining how many people who might have been hiking on the Marmolada peak are unaccounted for. Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to immediately send rescuers and dogs into the area to look for others buried under tons of debris Glacier Hikers Killed, Trento, Italy - 04 Jul 2022
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Autonomous Province of Trento/AP/Shutterstock (13017112e) This undated image made available, by the press office of the Autonomous Province of Trento shows the glacier in the Marmolada range of Italy's Alps near Trento from which a large chunk has broken loose Sunday, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Drones were being used to spot any more bodies on an Italian Alpine mountainside a day after a huge chunk of a glacier broke loose, sending an avalanche of ice, snow, and rocks onto hikers. Rescuers on Sunday spotted six bodies and said nine survivors were injured. Attention on Monday was focused on determining how many people who might have been hiking on the Marmolada peak are unaccounted for. Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to immediately send rescuers and dogs into the area to look for others buried under tons of debris Glacier Hikers Killed, Trento, Italy - 04 Jul 2022

Autonomous Province of Trento/AP/Shutterstock The incident resulted in the death of a reported eight people so far.

On Sunday night, the National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps tweeted out a phone number for the public to call to report missing persons.

The National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Following the incident, rescuers began checking license plates in the parking lot to determine how many people might be unaccounted for, Corps spokesman Walter Milan told AP.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock (13016980a) (220703) - MARMOLADA GLACIER, July 3, 2022 (Xinhua) - Photo provided by Italy's Alpine Rescue on July 3, 2022 shows a general view of Marmolada Glacier in northern Italy. At least six people were dead and more than a dozen were missing Sunday after a glacial ice shelf collapsed amid higher-than-usual temperatures in northern Italy. Italy Marmolada Glacier Collapse - 04 Jul 2022
Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock (13016980a) (220703) - MARMOLADA GLACIER, July 3, 2022 (Xinhua) - Photo provided by Italy's Alpine Rescue on July 3, 2022 shows a general view of Marmolada Glacier in northern Italy. At least six people were dead and more than a dozen were missing Sunday after a glacial ice shelf collapsed amid higher-than-usual temperatures in northern Italy. Italy Marmolada Glacier Collapse - 04 Jul 2022

CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Shutterstock Italy Marmolada glacier collapse.

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.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico/AP/Shutterstock (13016639d) This undated image released, by the Italian National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps shows the type of rescue helicopters used on the glacier in Italy's Alps near Trento where a large chunk of ice has broken loose, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Drones were being used to spot any more bodies on an Italian Alpine mountainside a day after a huge chunk of a glacier broke loose, sending an avalanche of ice, snow, and rocks onto hikers. Rescuers on Sunday spotted six bodies and said nine survivors were injured. Attention on Monday was focused on determining how many people who might have been hiking on the Marmolada peak are unaccounted for. Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to immediately send rescuers and dogs into the area to look for others buried under tons of debris Glacier Hikers Killed, Trento, Italy - 03 Jul 2022
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico/AP/Shutterstock (13016639d) This undated image released, by the Italian National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps shows the type of rescue helicopters used on the glacier in Italy's Alps near Trento where a large chunk of ice has broken loose, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Drones were being used to spot any more bodies on an Italian Alpine mountainside a day after a huge chunk of a glacier broke loose, sending an avalanche of ice, snow, and rocks onto hikers. Rescuers on Sunday spotted six bodies and said nine survivors were injured. Attention on Monday was focused on determining how many people who might have been hiking on the Marmolada peak are unaccounted for. Rescuers said conditions downslope from the glacier, which has been melting for decades, were still too unstable to immediately send rescuers and dogs into the area to look for others buried under tons of debris Glacier Hikers Killed, Trento, Italy - 03 Jul 2022

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.

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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.