Heavy rains flooded the Raganello Gorge in Italy’s Pollino National Park, killing 10 hikers and injuring 11 others. The flash flood caused the gorge to fill up to 2.5 meters with water, mud and rocks. The water pressure pushed some bodies as far as 5 miles downstream.
“A real avalanche of water came unexpectedly. We did not have time to do anything. I was lucky, it was an incredible thing,” a Dutch hiker told local media.
In total, 23 people were rescued, including four children who had lost one or both of their parents, The Associated Press reported. Some Dutch hikers were among the survivors, but Italian media reports said all the dead were Italian.
Italian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into the deaths. The government has also asked for a separate administrative proceeding to see if any negligence caused the deaths.
Investigations will focus on whether weather warnings were issued correctly and whether access to the gorge should have been limited or cut off.