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03 December 2023

Tourist crushed by chunk of ice off glacier

A file picture. (AFP)

By Agencies

A 28-year-old Italian tourist was killed in Alaska when he was crushed by a chunk of ice that broke from a glacier, authorities said.

Alaska State Troopers said Alexander Hellweger, of Sand in Taufers in northern Italy's South Tyrol region, died Sunday at Lake George Glacier, north of Anchorage.

Hellweger was with a group of eight friends from Italy and Belgium who were vacationing in Alaska. Guides had taken seven members of the party to the backcountry by helicopter to go skiing.

The party was later taken to the glacier site by helicopter. Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the group began gathering for a photo.

"Alexander was away from the group, but making his way there when the others in his group of heli-skiiers reported hearing the crack of ice as if it was going to calve," Ipsen said in an email. "Some members of the group ran when they heard the ice start to crack.

The glacier calved and a chunk fell on Alexander."

His body was recovered Monday. It wasn't retrieved Sunday night because of diminishing light and the danger of more ice breaking.