Body of seventh victim found in Italy hotel avalanche, court opens probe
according to rapporteur report from Reuters, Eleven people survived the Jan. 18 disaster in the Gran Sasso national park, including four children who were extracted from under tonnes of snow and debris on Friday.
The woman's body was recovered on Monday afternoon, bringing the confirmed death toll to seven and the number missing to around 22. Rescuers were still working to extract a body located on Sunday, the national fire brigade said.
Melting snow revealed overturned cars, and one rescuer squeezed through a tiny hole cut in the concrete roof of the Hotel Rigopiano in search of any survivors, video footage showed.
"We are working on the theory that the avalanche did not necessarily hit or destroy every room and that we haven't yet reached the heart of the structure," fire brigade spokesman Luca Cari said.
Rescuers broke into smiles when they plucked three seven week-old white puppies from the ravaged hotel's boiler room.
The government has promised to review its emergency response apparatus in the wake of the disaster, and a court in nearby Pescara has opened an investigation.
Italian media published an email sent by the hotel manager on Jan. 18 to an array of local authorities, urging help to clear the roads so guests could escape after powerful earthquakes rattled the region.
"The clients have been terrorized by the tremors," said the email. However, no help came before the avalanche struck, with local authorities saying that their most powerful snowplough had broken down and they did not have the money to repair it.
Staff operating emergency hotlines did not take seriously early telephone calls reporting the disaster, Quintino Marcella, a local restaurant owner, told local media.