Two new victims found after the collapse of a glacier in the Italian Alps

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Two new bodies were found in the place where a glacier collapsed on July 3 in Marmolada, in the Italian Alps. The discovery was made in the midst of the search operations that the authorities continue, which indicate that the number of fatalities could rise to 12.

These two victims are added to the other seven that had already been reported, confirming that at the moment there are nine people dead.

As of Tuesday night, four of the victims had been identified and two were in the process of being identified. After locating the two new victims, the authorities had a police team specialized in DNA analysis, to speed up the work.

Three other people are still missing, so they will continue the search using heat reconnaissance drones and a helicopter, although the chances of finding survivors are slim to none.

Those responsible for the rescue team reported that as of Thursday the weather is expected to improve, a situation that they will take advantage of to add to the team that has been tracking a group of experts and dogs that will search the bottom of the glacier, a dangerous place for lifeguards due to the instability of the mountain.

A ranger blocks tourists and climbers from reaching the Marmolada ridge after the glacier collapsed.
A ranger blocks tourists and climbers from reaching the Marmolada ridge after the glacier collapsed. REUTERS – GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE

“We will do the search activity there, moving the dirt and dust on the surface because the ice started to melt. This is a problem that we have become aware of today because the activity of the drones has not given us the results that we expected and is that the ice of the collapsed part of the glacier has melted and when it melts it leaves dust on the surface,” said Maurizio Dellantonio, national president of Salvamento Alpino.

Despite the difficulties, Dellantonio assured that every detail found is relevant and serves to guide the work.

“For us it is very important to find even the smallest object to ensure a reconstruction and try to understand what happened. This is also to respond to all the relatives who are still anxiously awaiting news about their loved ones today,” said Dellantonio.

High temperatures since early summer

The climbers were traveling along the route that is traditionally used to climb the mountain when the collapse occurred, the authorities attribute the sinister to the high temperatures that have been plaguing Italy since the beginning of the summer and that makes the glaciers become unpredictable.

To focus the work of the officials on the search efforts, for the moment the passage to Marmolada has been suspended, a place of tourist attraction for its natural beauty that is part of the Dolomites mountain range and extends in the regions of Trento and Veneto, the mountain is the highest peak, with 3,300 meters.

According to the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, the glacier commonly called “the queen of the Dolomites” could disappear in a period of 25 or 30 years if temperatures continue to rise, because until 2015 studies showed that it has lost 30% of its volume and 22% of its extension.

with Reuters

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