Two mountaineers crushed by an avalanche that killed 11 have amazed medics by walking free from intensive care.
The pair were swept away when the Marmolada glacier in the Italian Dolomites began to melt and collapsed.
Officials say 11 died when a pinnacle of ice snapped away from the mountainside, crushing climbers and hikers in their path.
Now medics say that two German mountaineers who were put in intensive care by the avalanche have been released.
On 3rd July, a serac – a pinnacle of ice among crevasses on a glacier – collapsed on the mountain of Marmolada in northern Italy.
A 67-year-old man from Bavaria, southern Germany, was found two hours after the disaster and was taken by air ambulance to the U.L.S.S. 1 Dolomiti clinic in Belluno.
He was admitted to the intensive care unit with multiple injuries, including several to both arms.
A spokeswoman for the hospital told German media: “He was able to leave the clinic on his own two feet and his eyes were shining.”
He was picked up from the clinic by his family on 9th July and he is now undergoing rehabilitation at a clinic in Munich.
The second mountaineer to have had a lucky escape was a 51-year-old German woman.
In her thank-you letter to clinic staff, she wrote: “I don’t remember anything anymore, I woke up in the hospital.
“The doctors took great care of me. The dizziness improved very slowly. I feel a whole lot better. Thanks to all.”
The serac collapse on the north side of Marmolada triggered an avalanche of ice, rock and water that travelled at around 300kph (186mph), sweeping away hikers.
Six men and three women from Italy and two men from Czechia lost their lives in the disaster.
Eight – including the two German mountaineers – were injured.
The public prosecutor’s office in Trento is investigating the causes of the disaster.
Families of the victims have accused the Italian authorities of negligence, claiming the area below the glacier should have been cordoned off due to persistently high temperatures in the region.