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Italian Rescue Workers Search for Missing After Glacier Collapse Kills 7


A rescue helicopter flies above the Marmolada glacier, near Canazei, Italy, on July 4, 2022, one day after part of the glacier collapsed, killing seven people.

Rescuers in Italy used helicopters and drones to search for more than a dozen people missing after part of an Alpine glacier collapsed, killing at least seven people.

The rescuers were unable to traverse the glacier on foot Monday due to fears it might still be unstable after Sunday’s avalanche on the Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Italian Dolomites. Helicopters were also hampered by bouts of bad weather Monday in the Italian Alps.

As hopes dimmed that more survivors could be found in the debris of snow and rocks, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the glacier’s collapse was linked to climate change.

Draghi said during a visit to the site Monday the disaster was "without doubt linked to the deterioration of the environment and the climate situation."

The glacier’s collapse came one day after a record-high temperature was recorded at its summit — 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit).

The glacier has been shrinking for decades due to rising average temperatures.

Italian officials say eight people were injured in the collapse, with two of them in serious condition.

Fourteen people remain unaccounted for, but officials say it is not clear how many people were in the path of the glacier when it came down Sunday.

Bodies found in the collapse have been taken to the resort town of Canazei, where a morgue has been set up on an ice rink.

Pope Francis said on Twitter that he was praying for the victims. He urged people to work to combat climate change.

“The tragedies that we are experiencing with climate change must push us to urgently search for new ways that are respectful of persons and nature," the pope wrote.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence-France Presse.