The disaster left at least seven dead and eight injured, and a dozen people are also missing by their relatives, but their presence at the time the glacier broke is not confirmed at this stage.

Among the injured, two Germans, a 67-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman, are still in serious condition.

Rescuers deployed drones equipped with thermal cameras, hoping to locate any survivors in the mass of ice and crumbling rocks, Giovanni Bernard, mayor of the locality of Canazei, where the unit is based, told AFP on Monday. crisis coordinating the search.

On Tuesday, only drone and helicopter overflights of the disaster area are planned due to the risk of further collapse of the glacier. No rescuer will therefore go there on foot.

“The danger is that other seracs (blocks) of ice could break off. The whole area continues to be closed to access,” said the Canazei crisis unit, quoted by the daily Il Corriere della Sera. “In the event of identification of objects, we will proceed to photographic surveys and possibly then to a rapid sampling”.

The chances of finding survivors “are almost nil”, warned the head of the high mountain rescue services in the region, Giorgio Gajer, quoted by the AGI agency.

The disaster, which occurred the day after a record temperature of 10°C at the top of the glacier, in the midst of an early heat wave on the Italian peninsula, is “undoubtedly” linked to “the degradation of the environment and the climate situation,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on the spot on Monday, expressing his “support” for the families of the victims.

Only three of the seven victims have been identified, but their nationalities have not been released by authorities.

The glacier collapsed near the locality Punta Rocca, along the route normally taken to reach its summit.

La Marmolada, nicknamed “the queen of the Dolomites”, is the largest glacier in this mountain range in northern Italy, part of the Alps. Located in Trentino, it gives birth to the Avisio River and overlooks Lake Fedaia.

According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on March 1, the melting of ice and snow is one of the ten major threats caused by global warming, disrupting ecosystems and threatening certain infrastructures. .