Italy avalanche: ‘Miracle’ as children pulled from hotel rubble

Four children were among those pulled alive from under tonnes of snow and debris days after a hotel was crushed by an avalanche in Italy. Dramatic images have emerged of the moment the youngsters and a woman were plucked to safety by rescue teams, who have been continuing their painstaking search of the shattered ruins for survivors following Wednesday’s tragedy. Overnight a further four people were found alive after careful digging amid fears buried air pockets could collapse. The rescue of the two men and two women brings the total number of survivors to nine.

Today is a day of hope. There’s a miracle under way.

Ilario Lacchetta, mayor of Farindola

Fire service spokesman Luca Cari said the bodies of two women and a man have also been recovered, taking the known number of dead to five. About 23 people still remain unaccounted for after the avalanche smashed into the spa hotel in the remote mountainous region of central Italy. According to Italian media a number of voices have been heard under the rubble, but it is proving hard to locate them. Mr Cari said rescue teams would continue the search until everyone was accounted for.