Marmolada glacier collapses: ice avalanche kills six in Italian Alps during heatwave

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

The Alpine rescue service said via Twitter that a key piece of ice, known as a serac, had collapsed on the Marmolada Glacier while climbing to the summit.

It also said all Alpine rescue stations in the area, including dog units and at least five helicopters, have been activated.

An employee of Castiglioni Marmolada Refuge, a local inn, witnessed the collapse of the serac and told Skytg24 that he heard “a loud noise, typical of a landslide, then we saw some kind of avalanche consisting of snow and ice and there I realized me that something serious had happened.”

The collapse also occurred amid local record temperatures, Skytg24 reported, reaching about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) at the mountaintop.

Many parts of Western Europe, including Italy, have experienced a long heat wave in the past month.

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