Italy avalanche death toll rises to 15 as six more bodies found

Eleven people have been rescued from in and around an avalanche-hit hotel in Italy's Gran Sasso national park, some of them surviving for two days under ice and rubble. Separately, six people died in a helicopter accident in the region on Tuesday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Rescue workers at the site of the avalanche-buried Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, central Italy, in this undated picture released by rescue services on January 24, 2017.

Rescuers have pulled six more bodies from a hotel in central Italy that was buried by an avalanche last week, bringing the death toll to 15, the national fire brigade said on Tuesday.

The latest bodies were recovered hours before families of victims were due to hold the first funerals for those killed in the avalanche.

Eleven people so far have been rescued from in and around the hotel in the Gran Sasso National Park, some of them surviving for two days under ice and rubble.


Rescue workers inspect a road in Farindola, central Italy, that was hit by an avalanche, in this undated picture released by rescue services on January 24, 2017. (Reuters)

At least14 people are still missing after a wall of snow crashed into the four-storey building last Wednesday, hours after earthquakes shook the region.

Six dead in emergency helicopter crash

In a separate incident, an emergency relief helicopter crashed in central Italy on Tuesday killing all six on board.

A spokesperson for the civil protection department said the helicopter had been sent to pick up a person injured in a skiing accident.

The accident happened on the other side of Italy's Gran Sasso mountain range about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the site of last week's avalanche.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies