Ice Falls From Alaska Glacier, Kills Tourist

Ice cracked as group posed for photo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2015 11:55 PM CST
Updated Mar 3, 2015 1:00 AM CST
It has been unusually warm around Lake George Glacier, authorities say.   (thuryina)

(Newser) – 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 say. Alaska State Troopers say Alexander Hellweger, of Sand in Taufers in northern Italy, 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.

A Troopers spokeswoman says the group began gathering for a photo. Hellweger "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," the spokeswoman says. "Some members of the group ran when they heard the ice start to crack. The glacier calved and a chunk fell on Alexander." She tells Alaska Dispatch News that the weather at the glacier—as in much of Alaska—has been unseasonably warm and sunny.

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