DOLOMITES - 7 dead, 8 injured, 8 missing

Avalanche drama in the Dolomites: At least seven people are dead, at least 8 injured and 8 are still missing. A huge glacier chunk had broken loose on the "Marmolata" mountain. A deadly avalanche of stone, ice and snow.

"The worst possible time and day for the chunk to come loose," said hut warden Carlo Budel of the "Capanna Punta Penia" hut on Instagram. It happened on Sunday afternoon (3 July). Dream weather in the mountains, many people on their way to the summit after lunch.

The eyewitness video of hut owner Carlo Budel, who runs a refuge near the site of the accident

The deadly rock-ice avalanche hit directly the ascent path to the 3,343-metre-high mountain - at a speed of 200 km/h, of all things. At the time, several groups, so-called rope teams, were on their way. Two groups were hit by the avalanche. At the moment, it is still unclear whether there were also people travelling alone. 

Here the avalanche thundered into the valley
Screenshot: Instagram/carlobudel

Large-scale operation for all rescue forces from Italy's north-east. All the mountain rescuers in the area from Veneto and Trentino-South Tyrol were alerted. A total of five helicopters were used to rescue the dead, injured and survivors. Dog teams were deployed. Above the accident site, other hikers were stranded and could not get away. 

rescue mountains
Large-scale operation on the glacier: Five helicopters were deployed
Screenshot: Instagram/carlobudel

According to media reports, there are currently still vehicles in the car park where the Marmolata climbers usually park their cars, which have not (yet) been picked up. The authorities of South Tyrol-Trentino are working hard to find the missing persons. Further deaths cannot be ruled out.

Here lies the Marmolata

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The glacier break occurred one day after a record temperature of 10 degrees was measured at the summit. Normal would be a temperature of about 6 degrees at this time of year.

Currently, northern Italy in particular is suffering from extreme drought and heat, in Sardinia even combined with a locust invasion (we reported).

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Sources: own research, various media reports from Italy

Cover photo: Instagram/CarloBudel; Marmolata archive photo: Stefan Mohme/500 px via