Six found alive in hotel after Italy avalanche

Rome, Jan 20 (IANS) Six people have been found alive in Italy’s Rigapiano hotel, two days after it was buried in an avalanche.

More than 30 people are feared dead after a wall of snow and rock slammed into the hotel in central Italy on Wednesday. Rescuers said six survivors had been discovered buried under snow, but had not yet been extricated, BBC reported on Friday.

They have spent at least 40 hours buried in the snow and rubble.

Rescuers have now requested for helicopters to help with the rescue effort, the Italian media reported. At least four people have been confirmed dead, and 20 others are still missing, as the rescue effort continues in difficult conditions.

The avalanche struck on the Gran Sasso mountain range in Italy’s quake-hit central Abruzzo, as guests awaited evacuation after a series of earthquakes in the region.

Holidaymakers were unable to leave as the roads were blocked and they were waiting for a snow plough. Last week, five metres of snowfall hit the Gran Sasso mountains.

A 6-feet wall of snow and rock tore through the four-storey hotel, burying everyone inside and pushing the building 30 feet down the mountainside.

Rescuers on skis battled “apocalyptic” snow storms to reach victims in the village of Farindola on the lower slopes of Gran Sasso.