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ITALIAN ALPS

Death toll climbs to 11 in Italian glacier collapse

The number of people killed in an avalanche in the Italian Dolomites rose to 11 on Saturday, which was expected to be the final death toll, police said.

Death toll climbs to 11 in Italian glacier collapse
A photograph shows the Punta Rocca glacier that collapsed near Canazei, on the mountain of Marmolada on July 6, 2022. Photo: Tiziana FABI / AFP

A section of Italy’s biggest Alpine glacier gave way last Sunday, sending ice and rock hurtling down the mountain, in a disaster blamed by officials on climate change.

“We have identified all the victims,” said Colonel Giampietro Lago, from the police scientific department.

“We’ve reached a toll of 11. As of today, we have no indications to make us think more people could be involved,” he said.

The search operation continued, however, and further materials were found on Saturday around the Marmolada glacier, said Maurizio Fugatti, president of the northern autonomous province of Trentino.

“The search goes on with drones and we will do the same thing tomorrow,” he said.

The public prosecutor’s office in Trentino has launched an inquiry into the cause of the disaster with some families accusing the authorities of leaving the glacier open despite clearly dangerous climbing conditions.

The avalanche struck one day after a record-high temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded at the summit of Marmolada.

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ITALIAN ALPS

Death toll rises to nine in Italy glacier collapse

The number of people killed in an  avalanche in the Italian Dolomites rose to nine following the discovery of two more bodies, authorities said.

Death toll rises to nine in Italy glacier collapse

A section of the country’s largest Alpine glacier gave way on Sunday, sending ice and rock hurtling down the mountain, in a disaster blamed by Italy on climate change.

“The number of confirmed victims is nine, president of the northern autonomous province of Trentino, Maurizio Fugatti, told reporters.

Three others were still missing, he said on Twitter, adding that the search was continuing with the use of drones.

READ ALSO: Italy glacier collapse: The struggle to find the missing climbers

The updated death toll came as some families accused the authorities of leaving the glacier open despite obviously dangerous climbing conditions.

Deadly avalanche

An avalanche sparked by the collapse of the largest glacier in the Italian Alps killed at least nine people and injured eight others on Sunday, an emergency services spokeswoman said.

The glacier collapsed on the mountain of Marmolada, the highest in the Italian Dolomites, near the hamlet of Punta Rocca, on the route normally taken to reach its summit.

The disaster struck one day after a record-high temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded at the glacier’s summit.

“An avalanche of snow, ice and rock hit an access path at a time when there were several roped parties, some of whom were swept away,” emergency services spokeswoman Michela Canova told AFP.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed his “sincerest condolences” to the victims and their families on Twitter.

Six people had been confirmed dead at the time and eight were injured, she added. Since then, rescue services found the bodies of three more victims. Three hikers are still missing.

Helicopters were scrambled to take part in the rescue and to monitor the situation from the air. Rescuers in the nearby Veneto region of northeast Italy said they had deployed all their Alpine teams, including sniffer dogs.

Two of the injured were taken to hospital in Belluno, another in a more serious condition was taken to Treviso and five to Trento.

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