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10 People Found Alive in Italy Hotel Buried by Avalanche

  • VOA News

Italian firefighters search for survivors after an avalanche buried a hotel near Farindola, central Italy, Jan. 19, 2017.

Italian rescue teams say 10 people, including two children, were found alive Friday in a hotel buried by an avalanche nearly two days ago in the central part of the country.

Two of the 10 survivors have been pulled from the snow and rescuers have been talking with the others.

Workers dug through deep snow and debris overnight in their search for about 30 missing people, including four children, staying at the luxury mountain resort.

The avalanche that hit the four-star Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindole on Wednesday was likely triggered by a series of strong earthquakes that rattled the central region of Abruzzo earlier in the day.

Television footage from the inside of the wrecked hotel showed massive mounds of snow pushing through a hotel wall into the lobby.

Officials have confirmed finding two bodies, while Italian media said two more were located overnight. The only known survivors until Friday were two men who had been outside the hotel when the avalanche struck.

An investigation into the tragedy has been opened by a court in Pescara, with some saying the emergency response was slow. The first rescuers arrived amid a snowstorm on skis early Thursday, about 11 hours after the avalanche hit.