Walter Milan, spokesman for Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Service, said at least six people died and eight were injured after a section of glacier collapsed in the Italian Alps.
Veneto Regional Emergency Service posted on Twitter.
Milan said the names and nationalities of the victims were still unknown. Several helicopters were reported at the scene. Eighteen people have been evacuated, and emergency teams are checking parked cars to determine if people are still missing.
Mr Milan said it was the biggest accident of its kind on the mountain in decades. The high temperatures in recent days may have contributed to the accelerated melting of ice, Milan said, adding that it was a very complex phenomenon with many factors at play.
In recent days, Milan said, the mountain has experienced record temperatures. The crash occurred as a heatwave scorched parts of Europe for several weeks.
The effects of global warming on the Marmolada Glacier, dubbed the queen of the Dolomites, have been going on for years, with a rapid rate of contraction.
Between 2004 and 2015, the volume of the glacier decreased by 30%, according to a 2019 study by the National Research Council of Italy and international universities. If this trend continues, glaciers will disappear within the next 25 to 30 years, the study predicts.