“Many dead” in avalanche at hotel

Avalanche hits hotel in an Italian ski resort
A number of people are believed to have been killed after an avalanche struck a hotel in an Italian ski resort.
Relief teams worked overnight to reach guests and staff trapped at the Hotel Rigopiano, near the mountain Gran Sasso in the Abruzzo region. The avalanche was thought to have been triggered by a series of earthquakes that struck central Italy on Wednesday.
Antonio Crocetta, head of the rescue team, was quoted as saying “There are many deaths”, the BBC reports.
At least 20 tourists and seven staff are believed to have been in the hotel at the time of the avalanche. Local residents in the nearby town of Farindola alerted emergency services after reports the hotel roof had collapsed.
Heavy snow has blocked routes, making access to the hotel difficult. Italian media say that the first rescuers managed to reach the hotel on skis.
Central Italy was hit by a succession of earthquakes this week with many additional tremors.
TTG Digital / BBC

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