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19th Jan 2017

BREAKING: Up To 30 Tourists And Staff Feared Dead After Avalanche Hits Italian Ski Hotel

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Up to 30 people are feared dead after an avalanche caused by an earthquake hit a hotel in the Abruzzo region in Central Italy. 

Four earthquakes hit the mountainous area on Wednesday, triggering an avalanche that completely covered the upscale Rigopiano Hotel, trapping tourists and staff inside.

According to local reports, rescue efforts were severely hampered by a snow storm and a team only reached the hotel on skis through forested slopes in the early hours of this morning.

Provincial President Antonio Di Marco told The Express: “There seem to be victims, but it all needs to be confirmed. There were 20 guests in the hotel.”

It’s now believed that there was seven staff working at the hotel at the time and potentially more guests. So far, two people have been rescued and brought to safety.

This is the second time in five months that an earthquake has devastated the Abruzzo region. 298 people died in the last quake on August 24.

More to follow…

Main image: Salute News