Mushroom hunter "massacre" claims 18 lives in Italy

MILAN Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:52pm EDT

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MILAN (Reuters) - At least 18 mushroom-lovers have been killed in accidents while hunting for their favorite fungi in the mountains and forests of northern Italy.

Mountain rescuers say eager mushroom seekers are abandoning safety procedures as they don camouflage and hunt in darkness to protect coveted troves, la Repubblica newspaper reported on Sunday.

"There is too much carelessness. Too many people don't give a darn about the right rules and unfortunately this is the result," Gino Comelli, head of the Alpine rescue service in northwest Italy's Valle di Fassa, told the newspaper.

Seventeen people have died in nine days -- six in 48 hours alone -- mostly from sliding off steep, damp slopes in the northern mountains, la Repubblica said in a story headlined "the massacre of the mushroom hunters."

Another person has been missing for more than a week, it said.

Ansa news agency said a man who had been hunting mushrooms was found dead on Sunday in the Alpine region of Valtellina.

A combination of August thunderstorms and hot weather has led to a bumper mushroom crop that has drawn the first hunters of what is expected to be a boom season.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (13)
WRL wrote:
A lack of respect for treacherous terrain can be fatal. At least in this case they’re only endangering themselves, unlike the many, many people who don’t have the proper respect for the mass and power of their vehicles.

Aug 30, 2010 2:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
redbeard1983 wrote:
Is it really a massacre if they’re killing themselves? I never like to hear about the loss of life, but those must be some good mushrooms..

Aug 30, 2010 4:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BeholdersEye wrote:
Holy cow, what mushrooms are they going after? So, I get my mountain gear out. Oh right I need a plane ticket to Italy, can any one help?

Aug 30, 2010 7:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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