Europe

Ten hikers killed in flash flooding in southern Italy

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Media captionHelicopter rescue saves hiker trapped by flash floods

At least 10 hikers were killed and others have been rescued after flash flooding in southern Italy.

They were walking in a gorge in a national park in the Calabria region when they were hit by a torrent swollen by heavy rain.

Officials say 23 people have been rescued. An eight-year-old girl was airlifted to hospital with hypothermia.

Italy's environment minister said he was "99.9% sure" no more people were missing.

Three hikers in their early twenties were found safe, Italian media report.

An earlier death toll was revised down from 11, due to confusion caused by "overlapping reports", according to officials.

Carlo Tansi, head of civil protection, told reporters that when the hikers were hit by the water they were "catapulted out like bullets" and were washed down the valley for about 3km (two miles).

"The Raganello Gorge is narrow and tall, it can get up to 1km (3,200ft) high," he said. "The gorge filled up with water in a really short time."

The nationalities of the hikers were not immediately known, although the Corriere della Sera newspaper said one of the injured was Dutch and had suffered a broken pelvis.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Rescuers worked through the night using spotlights
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mountain rescue teams from the nearest town of Civita are involved in the rescue

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