27-year-old Riccardo Franchin narrowly survived the Marmolada glacier rupture in the Dolomites. He describes the terrible moment when the accident happened.
When a glacier broke on Sunday in northern Italy, seven people died, eight people were injured and 13 are still missing.
Riccardo Franchin, a 27-year-old engineer from Barbarano Mossano, survived the accident. He was admitted to the Santa Chiara Hospital in Trento with bruises on his face, arms, legs and liver trauma. In an interview with the Italian newspaper “Corriere del Veneto”, his father speaks of a “miracle”.
Riccardo Franchin describes “La Stampa” the terrible moments when the accident happened. “I felt a strange noise and instinctively lifted my head to see what was happening above me,” said the 27-year-old. When he saw the summit collapsing, he ran as fast as he could. “The mountain rained on us and I tried to escape.”
But the strength in his legs and the survival instinct would not have been enough: Franchin is buried under parts of the collapsing glacier. “It all came so suddenly that I didn’t even have time to feel any pain.” Eventually he lost consciousness. When he woke up he was confused. “I found myself on my feet and looking around. Nothing. I haven’t seen anyone else,” said Franchin, who is still in shock.
The mountaineer is very worried about his climbing friends, some of whom are still missing.
Meanwhile, the rescue operation continues. However, the Marmolada Glacier is considered extremely unstable. Specialists want to install radars that can detect very fast movements like avalanches and slower movements like landslides. Meanwhile, a vertical and unstable block has formed on the mountainside. A treacherous situation, geologist Nicola Casagli analyzed in an interview with the Rai TV station. “If everything goes well, it will fall into small pieces, if things go badly in one piece.”