March 24, 2017

Rescue efforts yield survivors days after Italy hotel avalanche

22 January 2017, 12:46 | Ella Tate

Survivors Found Trapped In Rubble Of Hotel Hit by Avalanche

A rescue helicopter approaches the avalanche area in Rigopiano central Italy Friday

But they were found on Thursday four kilometres away from the hotel.

One of them was Giampiero Parete, a chef vacationing with his family, who had escaped the building just before the avalanche struck and first sounded the alarm by calling his boss, the Associated Press reports.

Penne: Two young children were among eight people pulled alive on Friday from the ruins of an Italian mountain hotel, almost two days after it was buried under a devastating avalanche. It added that they appeared to be in a "relatively good condition considering the ordeal they have been through".

ANSA said rescuers made contact with at least six survivors at the Hotel Rigopiano in the Abruzzo region.

The body of a woman was also pulled out from the hotel on Friday night, bringing to four the death toll so far, the civil protection said.

Four more survivors have been pulled from the rubble of a hotel in Italy that was crushed by an avalanche following a series of earthquakes.

Italian rescuers prepare to join the operation near the village of Penne on Friday

One boy who identified himself as Edoardo said he had been one of three children trapped, along with one woman, in the same room. Rescue crews located more than eight people alive in the rubble of an avalanche-crushed hotel on Friday, an incredible discovery that boosted spirits two days after the massive snow slide buried around 30 people in the resort.

Prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation to look into whether the threat of an avalanche was taken seriously enough and whether the hotel should have been evacuated sooner, given the heavy snowfall in the region.

Around 40 people were in the Hotel Rigopiano when a tsunami of snow smashed into it on Wednesday.

One of the survivors is a young girl, Italy's Deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico said, speaking in the nearby town of Penne, where he is monitoring the rescue for the government.

One of the survivors reported that the guests had all checked out and were waiting for the road to be cleared to be able to leave.

The two men and two women were extracted from the shattered ruins of Hotel Rigopiano overnight after hours of painstaking digging by firemen, who were having to move cautiously for fear the buried air pockets might collapse. The snow plow scheduled for midafternoon never arrived, and the avalanche hit sometime around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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