Italy avalanche death toll rises to 23, six people still missing

Published On: January 25, 2017 02:44 PM NPT By: Reuters

Rescuers workers have pulled five more bodies from the wreck of a hotel in central Italy that was razed by an avalanche one week ago, bringing the death toll to 23, the national fire brigade said on Wednesday.

Three bodies were retrieved from the site overnight and a further two corpses were found during the morning.

Six people are still missing.

Eleven guests and workers at the Hotel Rigopiano survived the disaster. The last of them were pulled from the submerged ruins of the luxury spa early on Saturday, and hopes of finding anyone else alive are fading.

Prosecutors in nearby Pescara have opened an investigation into the Jan. 18 avalanche in the Gran Sasso national park, which came after heavy snow storms and a flurry of powerful earthquakes.

Many guests at the hotel wanted to return home but were unable to leave because the access road was blocked by snow.

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