Italy earthquakes: Footage shows aftermath of deadly hotel avalanche

'We're dropping our rescue units down by helicopter and they are starting to dig' rescue spokesman says

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Thursday 19 January 2017 10:12
Rescuers attempt to excavate hotel where 30 are missing after Italy earthquakes

Footage has emerged of rescue workers arriving at the site of a hotel buried by an avalanche following a series of earthquakes in central Italy.

Up to thirty people are missing after an avalanche covered the three-story Hotel Rigopiano, in the town of Farindola, Abruzzo, on Wednesday evening.

The civil protection agency said it is working to get emergency vehicles to the hotel, through roads covered in snow, joining initial rescue efforts overnight by alpine rescue squads.

Italian news agency Ansa quoted the head of a mountain rescue squad as saying "there are many dead."

Mountain rescue teams reached the hotel by skis around 4am (3am GMT), SKY TG24 reported.

Italian media said the avalanche covered the three-storey Hotel Rigopiano, in the town of Farindola

"Around 30 people are unaccounted for, between guests and workers at the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola," said Fabrizio Curcio, head of Italy's civil protection department.

"We're dropping our rescue units down by helicopter and they are starting to dig," said Luca Cari, a spokesman for the national fire brigades.

A 5.3 earthquake hit Central Italy on 18 January 2017

A spate of strong earthquakes hit central Italy on Wednesday.

Four magnitude 5.2 and higher quakes struck near the hill town of Amatrice, some 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Rome, in the space of four hours. Much of the area had already been abandoned after last year's earthquakes.

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