Fall­ing ice slabs kill six climbers

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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