After the glacier fall on the Marmolada, the number of dead could increase. The rescuers have little hope for those still missing. Germans are also involved in the accident.

After the fatal glacier fall in northern Italy, the Federal Foreign Office assumes that Germans are involved in the accident.

According to the current status, there are two people, said a spokeswoman for the German Press Agency. The Foreign Office initially did not provide any further information. The honorary consul in Bolzano and the German embassy in Rome are in constant contact with the Italian authorities, it said.

On Sunday, ice, snow and rocks broke off on Marmolada mountain in the Dolomites, burying several climbers. At least six people died.

Almost 20 people are believed to be missing

According to the Ansa news agency, almost 20 people were missing on Monday. 16 cars were counted in the parking lot at the foot of the mountain massif, from which the ascent paths start, whose owners have not yet been found.

“We do not yet know whether the cars belong to the dead or missing people or to people who have nothing to do with the accident,” said the regional president of Trentino-Alto Adige, Maurizio Fugatti. Up to 14 mountaineers were injured in the mountain disaster.

The search and rescue work on the Marmolada was interrupted on Sunday evening because there was a risk that more blocks of ice could go off. The entire area around the glacier has been closed to the public. Prime Minister Mario Draghi expressed his condolences to the victims and their families and was kept informed of the rescue efforts and the investigation.

Messner warns of global warming

Extreme mountaineer and environmentalist Reinhold Messner sees the accident as a consequence of climate change and global warming. “These eat away at the glaciers,” said the 77-year-old in an interview with the German Press Agency.

So-called ice towers – known as seracs – then form on the edges of the glacier, “which can be as big as skyscrapers or rows of houses,” explained Messner. Incidents like the one on the Marmolada “we will see more often,” he predicted, because “today there are many more rock and ice falls than in the past.”

And these can then have terrible consequences, like on Sunday on the massif on the border between the Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto regions. The visibly shocked mountain rescuer Luigi Felicetti reported on the mission: “When we arrived on site, we were presented with an incredible picture. There were blocks of ice and huge stones everywhere.”

The Ansa news agency quoted investigators as saying that an “unimaginable bloodbath” took place on the mountain, after which “it will be difficult to determine the identity of the victims because the bodies were dismembered” by the ice and stone chunks.