Canazei (dpa) – In the avalanche accident in the northern Italian Dolomites, two Germans are likely to be among the mountaineers affected. The Federal Foreign Office assumes this, as a spokeswoman for the German Press Agency said on Monday in Berlin.
Around noon, the health authorities in Belluno, southeast of the scene of the accident, announced that two Germans rescued on the mountain were being treated in a clinic. These are a 67-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman. Both would be closely monitored. It helped that the clinic staff spoke German and were able to establish contact with the family.
Mario Draghi comes to the accident area
Meanwhile, on Monday, search and rescue operations continued on the more than 3,340-meter-high Marmolada mountain – the highest in the Dolomites on the border of the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto regions. Helicopters and drones search the area where an avalanche of snow, ice and debris swept away several mountaineers on Sunday. Six people lost their lives as of Monday morning, a spokesman for the Autonomous Province of Trentino confirmed. According to the Ansa news agency, the number of missing rose to 17. Eight people were discovered.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced that he would be there at lunchtime. According to the government, the 74-year-old head of government wanted to visit the situation center in Canazei at the foot of the Marmolada, which the authorities set up there because of the accident. He wanted to find out about the current situation there together with the head of civil protection. Meanwhile, Italian President Sergio Mattarella called the presidents of the two regions to express his condolences, the Quirinal Palace said on Monday. Other politicians also express their condolences.
According to Ansa, the first relatives of missing persons arrived in Canazei on Monday to ask the emergency services for information about their relatives. Authorities are currently investigating owners of cars parked in the parking lot, which IS primarily used by climbers.
Messner sees consequences of climate change
However, it is not yet clear why the avalanche leaves the Marmolada. The video of a hut owner showed how the masses of rock and snow thundered down the valley on Sunday. It is possible that the high temperatures of the past few days, weeks and months will start the demolition. The South Tyrolean extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner sees the avalanche as a clear consequence of climate change and global warming. “These eat away the glaciers,” said the 77-year-old of the German Press Agency. The glaciers would become increasingly unstable because of the unusually warm temperatures.