At least six people were killed and another eight injured Sunday following an avalanche of ice in the Italian Alps on Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites. Dozens are missing. Nationalities or ages of the dead weren’t immediately available. The injured were flown to several hospitals in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. An important segment of ice, also known as a serac, had collapsed on a popular trail. All Alpine rescue stations in the area have been activated, including canine units and at least five helicopters. The search by helicopter and dogs for any more victims or missing was halted for the night while rescuers evaluated the risk that more of the glacier could break off. Some of the hikers might be able to get down by themselves, including by using the peak’s cable car. In early evening, Monday, a light rain began to fall.
The National Alpine and Cave Rescue Corps tweeted a phone number to call for family or friends in case of “failure to return from possible excursions” to the glacier. Rescuers were checking the number of cars in the parking lot to determine how many people might be unaccounted for. The glacier, in the Marmolada range, is the largest in the Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy and it has been rapidly melting under heat. Experts estimate the glacier won’t exist anymore in the next 25-30 years under the climate change.