An experienced mountain climber has died after tumbling off a 2,682 metre (8,800ft) cliff, as shocked witnesses watched on in horror.
Fabio Racanella, 52, from Orvieto, Italy died while descending from the Corno Grande summit — the highest peak of the Italian peninsula at over 2,895 metres (9,500 ft).
The seasoned climber's fatal plunge was reportedly witnessed by others, who immediately phoned emergency services. Rescuers reportedly reached him with a helicopter, but it was too late to save him. Paramedics onboard pronounce him dead at the scene, local media said.
Bad weather likely to blame for fatal fall
Mr Racanella was well-known among the local community for being a great connoisseur of the mountains and a lover of sport.
It is not yet clear what caused the 52-year-old's fall, and it's currently under investigation. But experts claim his climb to Corno Grande was too risky and dangerous in the first place, with the recent snowfalls and heavy rains in the area making a potentially fatal combination.
Warning for tourists and other climbers
The President of the Alpine Guides of the Abruzzo region, Davide Di Giosafatte, spoke of the incident, claiming the bad weather likely had something to do with the fall as he warned others to avoid the climb.
"Now, up there, it's not the time to go," he said in a statement obtained by Newsflash.
"The weather did not predict anything good, there have been recent rainfalls and we need special attention: we are at the end of the season, the temperatures are rising, by midday at the latest you have to be safe precisely because of the instability of the snow due to the heat.
"The season is over, I repeat to everyone, to do those things. Now it's too risky, moreover, there was a big avalanche in the Conca degli Invalidi, which testifies to the danger of the mountain."
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.