Italy: All 11 hikers killed in glacier avalanche identified

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ROME (AP) — Italian authorities on Saturday put the final death toll of an avalanche in northern Italy at 11 and said all the victims had been identified nearly a week after a chunk of ice detached from a melting glacier and sent a torrent of ice, rock and debris on hikers below.

Carabinieri Cmdr. Giampietro Lago, who headed a team of forensic experts identifying the remains, said the identity of the final hiker had been established and “there are no elements" at this point to suggest the death toll would grow.

An apartment building-sized chunk of the Marmolada glacier in Italy’s Dolomite mountains detached July 3, sparking an avalanche of debris down the mountain that is a popular hiking destination in summer.

Experts have said warming temperatures likely contributed to the cleaving, since the glacier has lost mass and volume for years and been melting more quickly than usual this summer amid a heat wave, possibly destabilizing it.

A day of mourning was observed Saturday throughout the affected area, known as the Val di Fassa.

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The Associated Press

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