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Italy Alpine glacier break 6 dead, 8 injured, a dozen missing

ROME — A large chunk of an Alpine glacier broke off Sunday afternoon and slid down a mountainside in Italy, sending ice, snow and rocks pelting hikers on a popular summit trail, killing at least five and injuring eight, authorities said.

Italian state broadcaster RAI reported that the number of victims was six, but the death toll could not be immediately confirmed. It was not immediately known how many hikers may be missing.

The National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps tweeted that at least five helicopters and rescue dogs were involved in the search of the involved area of ​​Marmolada Peak.

“There are five dead among the people hit by the Serac detachment,” the emergency service tweeted, referring to a technical term for the top of a glacier. “There are eight injured, two of them in serious condition.”

The SUEM dispatch service, which is based in the nearby Veneto region, said 18 people who were above the area where the ice hit would be evacuated by the Alpine rescue corps.

The dispatch service said the avalanche consisted of a “pour of snow, ice and rock.”

Marmolada, rising to about 3,300 meters (about 11,000 feet), is the highest peak in the eastern Dolomites.

“A rockfall caused a crevasse to open in the glacier, leaving about 15 people trapped, emergency dispatchers said on Twitter.

The Alpine Rescue Service said in a tweet that the section was interrupted near Punta Rocca (Rock Point), “along the route normally used to reach the summit”.

It was not immediately clear what caused the chunk of ice to break off and hurtle down the mountainside. However, the intense heat wave that has hit Italy since late June could be a factor, Walter Milan, a spokesman for the Alpine rescue service, told state RAI television.

“The heat is unusual, Milan said, noting that temperatures in recent days at the summit had exceeded 10 C (50 F). “This is too much heat” for the summit, Milan said. “It’s clearly something abnormal. “

The injured were airlifted to several hospitals in the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto regions, according to rescue services.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Italy Alpine glacier break 6 dead, 8 injured, a dozen missing Source link Italy Alpine glacier break 6 dead, 8 injured, a dozen missing

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