Disasters & Accidents

Italian rescuers scour glacier collapse site from air, 5 still missing

Rome, Jul 5 (EFE).- Rescue teams scouring a mountain in the Italian Alps where at least seven hikers were killed after a glacier partially collapsed said five people were still missing on Tuesday.

Italy’s national Alpine and speleological rescue corps (CNSAS) in a tweet said that eight people who were feared missing after Sunday’s glacier disaster had been tracked down, adding one person had been discharged from hospital, bringing the number of hospitalized to seven.

Mountain rescue teams using drones and helicopters said they had detected human remains and objects on the slopes of the Marmolada, the highest peak in the Italian Dolomites, where the large block of ice detached from the glacier and hurtled through a well-trodden path to the summit. It brought with it snow, rock and ice.

CNSAS said it was unable to conduct ground operations due to the continued instability in the area amid the risk of further ice falls.

Authorities have yet to confirm the identities of the hikers killed by the avalanche and warned that the chance of finding survivors was unlikely.

Maurizio Dell’Antonio, CNSAS chief, said rescuers were flying over the disaster zone in helicopters and photographing, removing and cataloging any finds made on the mountainside.

“We cannot dig, the mass of snow has consolidated so much that it cannot be excavated,” he added.

Walter Cainelli, the president of the Trentino Alpine rescue corps, told the press that it would be difficult to recover the bodies from the avalanche site due to the scale of the natural disaster, which sent a “river of ice, stone and rock” down the slope.

Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi, visiting the region Monday to meet with first responders, linked the glacial collapse to the “deterioration of the environment.”

The collapse came after an intense heatwave in Italy. EFE


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