Updated: 21/01/17 : 07:47:03
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This

world

World :: Ten found alive in Italy avalanche hotel

Rescuers in central Italy have found 10 survivors after an avalanche buried a mountain hotel.

Four were pulled from the snow overnight, bringing the total number rescued to nine.

Workers say they will continue efforts to free the others, and to find about 20 people still missing.

At least four people died when an avalanche triggered by an earthquake engulfed the Rigopiano hotel, in the Abruzzo region, on Wednesday.

On Friday, five of the survivors - four children and a woman - were pulled from the ruined hotel.

There were cheers as the survivors emerged from a hole in the snow.

They had reportedly taken refuge beneath a collapsed portion of ceiling, where they were able to light a fire to keep warm for two days.

The rescue has been hampered by deep snow blocking an access road.

There are also concerns that further avalanches could follow, Italian newspaper La Stampa reported.

The first person pulled out was an eight-year-old boy, the son of a holidaymaker, Giampiero Parete, who had gone to his car when the avalanche struck and first sounded the alarm by calling his boss.

The boy's mother, Adriana, was pulled out next, telling rescue workers her six-year-old daughter was still trapped inside.

The little girl was also later saved and the family was reunited at a hospital in the coastal town of Pescara.

Hospital officials told the Associated Press news agency they had symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration, but were otherwise in good health.

"They had heavy clothes," said Dr Rossano di Luzio. "They had ski caps to cover themselves. They remained away from the snow and cold, they were always inside the structure. That's why the hypothermia wasn't severe."