Six dead and ten injured in Italian Alps avalanche as shards of glacier fall just hours after temperatures hit a record 50F
- Group of tourists struck by falling shards of glacier ice as peak hits record heat
- Six killed and eight injured in shocking accident at Dolomite summit Marmolada
- Ten are still missing, with five helicopters and dog units combing the mountain
- The risk of further collapses remains, Alpine Rescue officials confirmed
- An eyewitness said: ‘We heard a very loud noise, then we saw the snow and ice’
At least six were killed when an avalanche in the Italian Alps sent chunks of a melting glacier toward a group of tourists today.
Ten people were also injured in the accident at Punta Rocca on Dolomite peak Marmolada, north-eastern Italy.
All hikers are being rushed off the mountain as officials confirm the risk of further collapses.
Marmolada is the highest peak in the Dolomites (pictured), a southern section of the Alps
Around 15 people were struck by the falling ice, according to Alpine Rescue.
On Saturday the mountain recorded an all-time record temperature of ten degrees.
Five helicopters and dog units were sent to the area to search for survivors, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
An eyewitness told the newspaper: ‘We heard a very loud noise, then we saw the snow and ice avalanche.’
The mountain range is known for its sharp edges and steep slopes – with temperatures rising
Mountain rescuers have been activated.
Tourist Reinhold Messner added: ‘The ice there is almost all gone, there is none.
‘These seracs fall, of course, due to gravity, but the real cause is global warming, which causes glaciers to melt and makes it more likely that a serac will come off.’
Measuring 3,343m, Marmolada is the highest mountain in the Dolomites.
Regional Councillor for Civil Protection Gianpaolo Bottacin said: ‘I am in contact with the Head of the Civil Protection Department Fabrizio Curcio, to keep him informed, and with the Head of the Alpine Rescue Delegation Alex Barattin.
‘For the Venetian side, the 2 helicopters of the Suem 118 of the Ulss of Belluno are already operational.
‘Also one of the helicopters of the Veneto Region Civil Protection to transport teams of mountain rescuers with canine units to the place.
‘All the mountain rescue teams in the area have been activated. The first injured have already been recovered.’