14 Hikers are still missing due to the glacier collapse in Alps, Italy

14 Hikers are still missing due to the glacier collapse in Alps, Italy

After an avalanche caused by the melting of an Italian glacier during a heat wave killed at least seven people, rescuers cautioned Monday that there was little chance of finding survivors.

The tallest peak in the Italian Dolomites, Marmolada, saw a glacier give way on Sunday. 

However, the number of climbers struck is unknown, according to the authorities. 

Its fall sent ice and debris thundering down the hill at 185 mph, according to Maurizio Fugatti, the governor of Trento Province.

Rescuers used thermal drones on Monday, looking for body heat from prospective victims who could be stuck under ice. 

Giorgio Gajer, chief of the provincial Alpine Rescue Service, told the AGI news agency that the prospects of discovering any more survivors at this point “are minimal to none” due to the likelihood that too much time has gone since the fatal avalanche.

Rescuer Gino Comelli told the outlet that those discovered were “ripped apart” due to the catastrophe after six corpses had been removed off the mountain.

The dead toll increased as search and rescue operations at Marmolada advanced on Monday. 

According to AGI, Fugatti had verified seven dead by late afternoon. In contrast, eight others had been hurt, and at least 14 more were still unaccounted for. 

Only three of the dead could be immediately recognized. At the same time, two injured hikers were apparently in severe condition. As more and more reports of missing individuals came in throughout the day, it was still unknown how many people were trapped in the avalanche.

The catastrophe occurred the day after a temperature record of 50 degrees Fahrenheit was set at the glacier’s peak, the biggest in the Italian Alps.

According to geologists, decades of global warming have undermined the glacier.

Speaking on behalf of Alpine Rescue, Michela Canova told AFP that multiple roped groups were there when an “avalanche of snow, ice, and rock” struck an access trail, “some of whom were carried away.”