videoJust minutes before Italian mountaineer Filippo Bari, 28, was buried under a torrent of ice, snow and rock on Sunday, he snapped another happy selfie from the top of the Marmolada and sent it to family members. The accompanying text was “See where I am.”
Barry, father of a 4-year-old, was buried with many others on Sunday Icebreaker on the highest mountain in the Italian Dolomites† Six others were also killed. Eight other people are in hospital, two of them seriously. Thirteen people are still missing.
The mayor of the village of Isola Vicentina, where Barry lives, announced his death this afternoon in a Facebook message. Filippo slipped away, and Marmolada caught him. Isola Vicente meets around mother Emanuela, father Pepe, beloved brother Andrea, partner, son and all the family,” wrote Francesco Gonzo. Posting a selfie of the mountaineer with a sad message.
Barry’s brother Andrea talks about the selfie on Italian TV. He would have achieved this about twenty minutes before the disaster. According to Andrea, his brother was an experienced mountaineer, whom his family always told him to be careful in the mountains, “especially in these (high) temperatures.” He saw his brother smiling in the photo. “He died doing what he loves.”
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Death toll rises
Seven deaths have since been recovered. At least three of them have Italian citizenship, and in another case they are almost certainly Czechs. In addition, eight people were hospitalized. Two of them were seriously injured.
Rescue services fear that the number of casualties may rise further. At the foot of the mountain range, where climbing routes begin, sixteen cars, whose owner has not yet been tracked, were previously counted. “We don’t know yet whether the cars belonged to deceased or missing persons, or to persons unrelated to the accident,” said Maurizio Fogatti, president of the Trento region. Meanwhile, 13 missing people are still being sought; Ten Italians and three Czechs.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the search for the missing continued from Sunday night to Monday, including by drones. Helicopters and dogs are also used in research. Today, severe storms have hampered the search. According to the rescue service, the probability of avalanche victims surviving is “very small and nothing”.
Due to bad weather, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi had to suspend his helicopter flight to the affected area today and continue by car.
A day before the ominous avalanche of ice, snow and rock in the Italian Dolomites, a record temperature of 10 degrees Celsius was measured at the summit of Marmolada, the highest mountain in the mountain range at 3,300 metres. The warm temperatures that northern Italy is currently experiencing – there is talk of an early heat wave – may have played an important role in this.
Experts believe there may be a connection between the heat and the avalanche. They say the glacier has weakened due to global warming and has been shrinking for several years. The ice is slowly melting. Scientists believe that the glacier will disappear completely within 25 to 30 years. The lack of (winter) precipitation in recent months has resulted in no insulating layer over the glacier. “The current conditions of the glacier correspond to August, not early July,” said Italian scientist Massimo Frisotti.
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