Falling ice slabs kill six climbers
ROME — Six mountain climbers were killed Thursday in separate instances in Italy and France after slabs of ice from frozen waterfalls detached from mountainsides, Alpine rescue authorities said.
Authorities blamed the sun and a sudden rise in temperatures for melting the ice enough for it to detach.
The four climbers killed in Italy were scaling a waterfall in Gressony-Saint-Jean, in the Val d’Aosta region near the border with Switzerland, when part of the ice wall gave way.
A fifth climber survived, apparently because he already had reached a ledge above where the frozen waterfall cracked off, the head of the Val d’Aosta Alpine rescue service, Adriano Favre, told Italian media outlets. Alpine teams rescued the survivor.