A mountain glacier in the Italian Alps partially collapsed on Sunday amid record temperatures, killing at least six people and wounding eight more.
After a significant “ice avalanche” affecting hikers, the provincial administration of Trento said that rescue efforts were under way and that there was expected to be a “heavy toll”.
The avalanche occurred on the Marmolada, the tallest peak in Italy’s eastern Dolomites, which spans the Veneto and Trento provinces and rises to a height of more than 3,300 meters.
According to the president of Veneto, Luca Zaia, injured persons were evacuated to hospitals in the surrounding towns of Belluno, Treviso, Trento, and Bolzano.
According to the Alpine rescue team, the enormous chunk of ice crashed not far from Punta Rocca, on the path that hikers and climbers typically take to reach the peak.
Fortunately, the weather is favorable, but there is still a risk of other collapses, a spokeswoman added.
Dogs and helicopters were being utilized to search for survivors.
According to Zaia, the Marmolada reached a high of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday during an early summer heat wave in Italy.
The Marmolada glacier, like many others across the world, has been rapidly eroding in recent decades due to rising average temperatures.