- Title: Italian rescue teams battle snow as they try to find victims of earthquake
- Date: 19th January 2017
- Summary: PENNE, ITALY (JANUARY 19, 2017) (REUTERS) RESCUERS AND VEHICLES ON ROAD VARIOUS OF FIREMEN WORKING FIRE BRIGADE VEHICLE DRIVING PAST PARKED AMBULANCE VARIOUS OF RELATIVES RELATIVES DECLINING TO COMMENT TO REPORTER'S QUESTIONS RESCUERS AND FIREFIGHTERS TALKING FIRE BRIGADE VEHICLES DRIVING PAST AMBULANCE DRIVING PAST SNOWPLOW MAKING ITS WAY TO SNOW
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2017 13:14
- Keywords: Italy Earthquake Rescue teams Snow
- Location: PENNE, ITALY
- City: PENNE, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Earthquakes/Volcanoes/Tsunami
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZQXHDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Firefighters and rescue teams are trying to locate victims after an avalanche hit a popular mountain hotel in central Italy after a series of strong earthquakes had rattled the area, and up to 30 people might be buried under the snow, officials said on Wednesday (January 18).
Other officials said it was too early to say if anyone might have died, with the rescue operation hampered by up to 5 metres (16.4 ft) of snow which has fallen on the Gran Sasso mountain range in the central Abruzzo region in recent days.
The avalanche collapsed part of the four-storey hotel, which is some 1,200 metres (4,000 ft) above sea level, and moved it some 10 metres (30 ft) according to media reports.
A wall of snow and debris hit the hotel on Wednesday evening, just hours after four strong earthquakes had shaken central Italy, sparking fears about possible avalanches.
Blocked roads in the area meant the first rescuers only arrived at 4.30 a.m. (0330 GMT) after they had skied through a heavy snow storm to reach the site. After dawn broke, emergency services sent in helicopters.
A base camp for rescue workers was set up in the town of Penne, some 10 km (6 miles) away from the Rigopiano hotel, which was a popular 4-star spa resort with 43 rooms.
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