Italy avalanche toll hits 24 as search nears end

2017-01-25 13:43
An aerial view of the Rigopiano Hotel hit by an avalanche in Farindola, Italy. (Italian Firefighters via AP)

An aerial view of the Rigopiano Hotel hit by an avalanche in Farindola, Italy. (Italian Firefighters via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - The number of bodies recovered from the ruins of an Italian hotel buried by an avalanche rose to 24 on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Another five people were still unaccounted for, presumed dead, as a result of the January 18 disaster, which saw the Hotel Rigopiano ripped from its foundations by the force of a wall of tree and mud-packed snow hurtling down the hillside into which it was built.

Eleven people, including all four children at the hotel at the time, survived.

The deadly avalanche followed the heaviest snowfall seen in the mountains of central Italy in decades and may have been triggered by a series of powerful earthquakes which rocked the region earlier the same day.

The combination of the extreme weather and the quakes has claimed at least 11 lives unrelated to the hotel disaster.

Six of them came in a helicopter crash at the Campo Felice ski resort on Tuesday.

Rescuers have vowed to continue combing through the wreckage of the Rigopiano but sub-zero overnight temperatures meant there was little hope of finding anyone else alive on what was the seventh day of the rescue effort.

The last survivors extracted from the rubble were pulled out on Saturday after having been located on Friday morning. They were all suffering from mild hypothermia.

A prosecutor is examining whether the disaster could have been avoided with better risk-assessment procedures.

But Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has warned against launching a hunt for scapegoats to assuage the grief of those who have lost loved ones.

"Every possible effort was made to reach the hotel," Gentiloni told parliament on Wednesday.

"We are proud of the emergency services who were confronted with absolutely exceptional snowfalls and two of whom gave their lives," he added, in a reference to two mountain rescuers who died in the helicopter crash.

Read more on:    italy

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.