Deadly Avalanche Buries Italian Spa Resort After Earthquake; At Least 30 Missing

Titanic Avalanche Buries Luxury Spa Resort in Italy

With the ongoing search and rescue operation for possible survivors in the Rigopiano hotel avalanche that made headlines on Wednesday, Italian rescuers have found no sign of life in the rubble.

BBC reports say rescuers have heard nothing in the rubble while sniffer dogs are reportedly unable to find victims.

An estimated 35 people are trapped inside the Hotel Rigopiano hit by the avalanche at the foot of the Gran Sasso mountain.

Apparently the avalanche was triggered by a series of tremors that rocked central Italy on with a magnitude above five.

Twenty-two guests and seven staff members were registered and inside the hotel, among them children. However, rescuers say the actual number could be 35.

The Rescue Operation

The rescue efforts were not easy. Heavy snow and strong winds hindered the smooth rescue efforts in the rubble of the Rigopiano hotel, in the Abruzzo region.

News reports say rescuers skied for kilometers to reach the hotel. When they arrived at the luxury spa hotel, they only found the building’s top story and roof visible above the snow.

Antonio Crocetta, a member of the Alpine rescue squad who was at the scene, told Reuters news agency by phone, “The hotel is almost completely destroyed. We’ve called out but we’ve heard no replies, no voices. We’re digging and looking for people.”

Italian rescuers at Hotel Rigopiano after avalanche. Image by Erdenebayar Bayansan from Pixabay
Italian rescuers at Hotel Rigopiano. Image by Erdenebayar Bayansan from Pixabay

The Missing and The Survivor

A list of 23 names given by La Stampa newspaper suggests that most are Italians. A Swiss national and a Romanian were also included in the list.

Three are children aged six, seven and nine, and the oldest person on the list is a man of 60.

Media report also revealed that a couple from Marche who are not recorded in La Stampa’s list, Marco Vagnarelli and Paola Tomassini, were last heard from at 16:30 on Wednesday.

In addition, one man survived the tragedy. He was vacationing with his wife and two children, 6 and 8. The whereabouts of his wife and children remained unknown Thursday.

UPDATE Six People Found Alive

In a later update, six people were found alive.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.