workers were met with an eerie silence Thursday when they reached a four-star
spa hotel struck by an avalanche in a mountainous earthquake-stricken region of
central Italy. At least 30 people were missing, including at least two
children, authorities said.
at the three-story Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region alerted
emergency workers of the disaster on Wednesday, following a series of quakes in
we’re dying of cold,” one couple wrote rescuers, according to the ANSA
news agency. Another man, identified by news reports as Fabio Salzetta, sent a
SMS message saying he had escaped with a maintenance worker, but that others
were trapped inside.
della Sera quoted the text message as saying: “Some walls were knocked
down.” And: “I’m outside with a maintenance worker but you can’t see
anything of the hotel, there’s only a wall of snow in front of me.”
rescuers on skis arrived in the early morning hours of Thursday, they found
just two people alive, according to news reports. Civil protection authorities
said that 30 people were missing. The ANSA news agency quoted a rescuer as
saying that there were fatalities, but details weren’t immediately available.
Just one body was reported removed from the hotel by late morning Thursday.
Photos: (from top) Italian Firefighters via AP, Italian Finance Police via AP, Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS, (Italian Firefighters via AP, Italian Fire Department/handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images