Italy | No signs of life on the collapsed glacier

(Canazei) No sign of life under the masses of rock and snow, but parts of the body, rings and tattoos identifying the victims: the gruesome search continued on Tuesday on the slopes of the Marmolada, the highest peak in the Italian Alps, two days later the collapse of part its glacier weakened by climate change and record temperatures.

Posted at 9:39
Updated at 1:03 p.m

Tiziana FABI
Media Agency France

The disaster has so far claimed seven lives and eight injured, one of whom was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. The number of people reported missing by their loved ones but whose presence has not yet been confirmed at the time the glacier ruptured fell from a dozen to five on Tuesday, all of Italian nationality.

A burning chapel has been erected on the grounds of the ice rink in Canazei, the place downstream from the glacier where the crisis unit that coordinates the research is based. The families and relatives of the victims can thus pay their respects.

Among the injured are two Germans, a 67-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman, who remain in serious condition.

Rescuers have used drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras and helicopters to overfly the area, but they hope to return to the glacier on foot from Wednesday, Trento Region President Maurizio Fugatti said during a press conference meeting Tuesday night in Canazei.

Radars and dog units

Meanwhile, the macabre work of identifying climbers who died on the Marmolada continues. “Important finds, not just bones, are first photographed, then recovered and treated by helicopter” and transported to Canazei, where they are “listed and stored in a cold room”, specifies Maurizio Dellantonio, naming in particular “bones with pieces”. flesh, a piece of hand with a ring, tattoos, anything that can help identify a person, including shoes, backpacks, or ice axes.

Specialized technicians are also being mobilized to install near a shelter “a radar capable of detecting very fast movements such as avalanches and slower ones such as landslides,” said Nicola Casagli on site, professor of applied geology at the University of Florence, quoted by the AGI agency.

The disaster, which occurred the day after a record 10°C temperature at the top of the glacier amid an early heatwave in the Italian peninsula, “symbolizes the so many tragedies that unchecked climate change is causing in so many regions of the world,” commented Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday.

Two Czechs among the victims

Only three of the seven climbers killed have been identified, but their nationalities have not been released by Italian authorities. However, the Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed to AFP that two of its nationals were among them.

The Trento Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation to determine the causes of this tragedy. Some families accuse authorities of leaving the glacier open when climbing conditions were obviously dangerous.

“Why didn’t anyone warn on Saturday that the water was seeping under the glacier? Why didn’t they stop people from going upstairs? “Asked the sister of a missing Italian on Tuesday, quoted by the agency Ansa. “If someone is responsible, we will go all the way,” she added.

“This is an exceptional event, if not unique. There were also mountain guides on the glacier who know the situation well,” replied Maurizio Fugatti.

La Marmolada, also called “Queen of the Dolomites”, is the largest glacier in this mountain range of northern Italy, which is part of the Alps.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reportah As of March 1st, melting ice and snow is one of the top ten threats caused by global warming, disrupting ecosystems and threatening certain infrastructure.

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