Collapse of Marmolada Glacier: Ice avalanche kills six in Italian Alps amid heat wave

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CNN

At least six people have been killed and eight others injured following an ice avalanche in the Italian Alps, CNN affiliate Skytg24 said on Sunday, citing first responders.

At least a dozen people are still missing following the collapse of the Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites, Skytg24 also reported, citing rescue workers.

The Alpine Rescue Service said via Twitter that a large segment of ice, also called a serac, had collapsed on the Marmolada Glacier along the ascent to the summit.

He also said that all alpine rescue stations in the region have been activated, including canine units and at least five helicopters.

A staff member at the Castiglioni Marmolada refuge, a local hostel, witnessed the serac collapse, telling Skytg24 that he “heard a loud noise, typical of a landslide, then we saw some sort of avalanche made up of snow and ice and then I realized that something serious had happened.

The collapse also took place amid record local temperatures, Skytg24 reported, reaching around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) at the top of the mountain.

Many parts of Western Europe, including Italy, experienced a long heat wave last month.

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