At least six people died and eight were injured in

At least six people died and eight were injured in a glacier collapse in Italy

Search teams search for survivors on site; Experts say such accidents are likely to keep happening because of climate change

Pierre TEYSSOT v AFPGlacier kills six people in Italy
The glacial rupture caused an avalanche; Climate change is responsible for the accident

At least six people died and eight were injured after an avalanche caused by the rupture of part of the Marmolada glacier, the largest in the Dolomites, in the Alps ItalyOn Sunday 3rd, the spokeswoman for the emergency services, Michela Canova, said the balance was “still preliminary” and the figures could change. According to the Ansa news agency, at least three Italians and one Czech are among the dead. The medical agency Veneto said two Germans were among the injured, a 67yearold man and a 58yearold woman who were in mortal danger. The head of civil protection for the province of Veneto, Gianpaolo Bottacin, also mentioned “disappeared”, without giving the number.

The search resumed this Monday, April 4, and helicopters are participating in rescue and surveillance operations. The rescuers’ job was particularly difficult as they had to excavate the bodies from ice and rock. “We found some mutilated bodies among the pile of ice and rubble spread over 1,000 meters,” said Gino Comelli of the high mountain rescue teams, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper. Rescue teams sent drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras overnight in hopes of locating survivors caught up in the avalanche of ice and rock, Canazei mayor Giovanni Bernard said. “It is a very dangerous situation also for the rescuers” who cannot advance on foot, he said. According to the head of the Alpine Rescue Service, Giorgio Gajer, in an interview with the agency AGI, the chances of finding survivors are “almost nil”.

Glacier kills six people in Italy

The avalanche that caused the tragedy happened a day after record temperatures of 10°C were reached at the top of the glacier. According to the professor of the Faculty of Science at the University of Rome 3, the break is “a consequence of the current weather conditions, ie an early heat episode coinciding with the problem of global warming,” he explained. According to Renato Colucci, an expert on glaciers quoted by the Italian agency AGI, “the phenomenon will repeat itself” since “for weeks the temperatures at the altitudes of the Alps have been well above the usual indicators”. According to a March 1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, melting ice and snow is one of the top ten threats from global warming that will disrupt ecosystems and threaten infrastructure. The IPCC has warned that glaciers in Scandinavia, Central Europe and the Caucasus could lose 6080% of their mass by the end of the century.