‘Many feared dead’ after Italy avalanche triggered by earthquake buries hotel

Up to 30 people are feared to have died after an avalanche believed to have been triggered by an earthquake hit a spa hotel in Italy. The heavy snowfall buried the remote, three-storey Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindola on the Gran Sasso mountain in the central Abruzzo region on Wednesday night. SKYTG24 reported bodies had been found inside the hotel, while Italian news agency Ansa quoted a rescuer at the scene as saying “there are many dead”.

I’m outside with a maintenance worker but you can’t see anything of the hotel, there’s only a wall of snow in front of me.

Newspaper Corriere della Sera quoting a text message from Fabio Salzetta, who had managed to get out

Footage from inside the complex showed entire walls gone and replaced with snow where the avalanche had smashed through. Two people were rescued and taken to hospital with hypothermia and are said to be in a serious, but not life-threatening condition. Video showed rescuers with shovels attempting to dig through the 16ft wall of snow in the middle of the night while battling a severe snowstorm. The civil protection agency said it was working to get emergency vehicles to the scene to assist alpine rescue squads after an ambulance got stuck in the snow around five miles from the site.