Six people have died and two have been injured during a snowmobile crash in Italy early Saturday morning.
Reports indicate the vehicle flipped over after hitting a fence on the Italian ski slope. Officials explained the area of Mount Cermis where the accident took place is unlit during the nighttime hours. According to Fox News, the incident likely occurred due to speeding.
Italian authorities are currently looking into the specifics surrounding the snowmobile crash that claimed the lives of six people. Russian officials explained that they have been in contact with investigators in Rome regarding the accident.
The Associated Press reports the snowmobile was pulling a sled, which is where most of the passengers were sitting when the crash took place. Cavalese Fire Department Commander Roberto Marchi said most of the victims had already died by the time rescuers arrived on the scene. He added that the initial search was slow due to the rocky terrain.
While authorities believe speed is likely the cause of the tragic accident, investigators haven’t ruled out the possibility of a mechanical malfunction.
“It is clear that the fundamental cause is recklessness and imprudence,” Marchi said.
The accident caused the snowmobile, the sled, and its occupants to said hundreds of meters into the air. Investigators said the vehicle sheered off the tops of several trees before hitting the ground.
Five of the people who died were from an area in Southern Russian, while two of the deceased reportedly worked for in the tourist industry. According to BBC News, the injured individuals were airlifted to a nearby hospital. One person is said to still be in critical condition following the crash.
Authorities said that manslaughter charges could be filed against the driver of the snowmobile if its determined that speeding or negligence caused the death of six Russian tourists in Italy.