More than 7,000 people worked through the night, digging through debris and towering mounds of snow in search of survivors Friday after a series of earthquakes triggered a deadly avalanche that buried an Italian hotel.
The avalanche released so much snow that it took the first rescuers almost 12 hours — on skis — to reach the Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindola. National newspaper La Repubblica described the scene as "a natural paradise transformed into a frosty white hell."
Mario Mazzocca, undersecretary of the Abruzzo region's civil protection agency,told RAI, Italy's national public broadcaster, that 34 people were at the site when the avalanche hit. The national civil protection agency confirmed late Thursday that only two survivors and only two bodies had been found — leaving as many as 30 other people still unaccounted for. Several of those missing are believed to be children.
"There are many dead," Antonio Crocetta, a member of the Abruzzo mountain rescue team, told the Italian news agency ANSA. And Ilario Lacchetta, the mayor of Farindola, said, "The hopes of finding people alive are reduced by the hour."Read More...
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