ROME -- Italian authorities put the death toll from an avalanche that struck northern Italy at 11. They said that all victims were identified almost a week after a piece of ice fell from a melting glacier, sending a torrent of rock and debris down on hikers below.
Carabinieri Cmdr. Giampietro Lago was the head of the team of forensic specialists that identified the remains. He said that the identity of the last hiker had been determined and that "there are no elements" to suggest that the death toll will rise.
A chunk of Marmolada glacier, Italy's Dolomite Mountains, that was the size of an apartment detached July 3. This caused an avalanche down the mountain, which is a popular destination for summer hiking.
Experts believe that the melting of the glacier is likely due to rising temperatures. The glacier lost its mass and volume over the years, and has been melting faster than normal this summer in the heat wave. This could have contributed to its instability.
A day of mourning was observed in the Val di Fassa, which is the affected region.
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