Thursday, January 19, 2017

Italy quake: Up to 30 feared dead in avalanche-hit hotel

Up to 30 people are feared to have died after an Italian mountain hotel was engulfed by a powerful avalanche in the earthquake-ravaged centre of the country.

An earlier report had said up to 30 people had been found dead.

Italy's Civil Protection agency confirmed the Hotel Rigopiano had been engulfed by a two ­metre high wall of snow and that emergency services were struggling to get ambulances and diggers to the site.

The agency said there had been around 30 guests and staff at the small ski hotel on the eastern lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain when the first of four powerful tremors rattled the region yesterday morning.

Local media said specialist mountain police who had reached the hotel on skis or by helicopter had begun extracting bodies.

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