Thursday, 19 January 2017

Avalanche hits Italian ski hotel killing up to 30 people with many buried under the snow

Up to 30 people are feared dead after an Italian hotel popular with tourists was covered by an avalanche following an earthquake.

The snowslide covered cars, farm animals and part of Hotel Rigopiano in Abruzzo, east of Rome, as it violently surged down a mountainside yesterday.Local media are reporting that up to 30 people could be dead in the hotel, although this remains unconfirmed.

Around 20 guests were staying in the hotel at the time, with a number of staff inside as well.

Governor of Pescara, Antonio Di Marco, said on Facebook: "Unfortunately, a terrible tragedy happened, it seems that there may be some fatalities, but this has yet to be confirmed."

Trapped guests texted messages after the avalanche saying "help, help we are dying of cold", according to Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

Emergency crews have been desperately trying to get to victims but have been hampered by a snow storm.

Phones at the exclusive venue are also completely dead and frantic relatives have been unable to get through to guests mobile phones.

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