Saturday 18 November 2017

'They called us angels' - Incredible photos show young children rescued from Italy avalanche hotel

*Known death toll reaches 4
*Around 15 people still unaccounted for

One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
Rescuers work in front of the Rigopiano Hotel hit by an avalanche in Farindola, Italy, early Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (CNSAS) via AP)
Families and friends wait for news as they gather outside the Pescara central hospital. Photos: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
A video still shows firefighters rescuing Gianfilippo Parete (8). Photos: Getty. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via Reuters
Rescue workers at the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, Italy, which was hit by an avalanche. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via Reuters
Firefighters rescue a survivor from Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, central Italy. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via Reuters
This aerial view taken from a drone shows rescuers working amidst snow and debris. Photo: Italian Firefighters/ANSA via AP
Rescuers pull survivors, including a young boy and a woman, from the Italian hotel buried by the avalanche. Photo: Italian Firefighters/ANSA via AP
This frame from video shows Italian firefighters extracting a boy alive from under snow and debris of an hotel that was hit by an avalanche on Wednesday, in Rigopiano, central Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Italian Firefighters/ANSA via AP)
Firefighters rescue a survivor from Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, central Italy, hit by an avalanche, in this handout picture released on January 20, 2017 provided by Italy's Fire Fighters. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Handout via REUTERS
A rescue helicopter approaches the area in Rigopiano, central Italy (AP)
A still image taken from a video shows firefighters working at Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola, central Italy, after it was hit by an avalanche, January 20, 2017 provided by Italy's Fire Fighters.
Italian firefighters extracting a boy alive from under snow and debris in Rigopiano (Italian Firefighters/Ansa/AP)
A hallway is blocked off by snow
A man is helped out of the Hotel Rigopiano. Photo: AFP/Guardia di Finanza

Crispian Balmer

Four people were pulled alive from the wreckage of a luxury hotel that was demolished on Wednesday by a deadly avalanche, bringing the number of survivors to nine, the national fire service said on Saturday.

The two men and two women were extracted from the shattered ruins of Hotel Rigopiano overnight after hours of painstaking digging by firemen, who were having to move cautiously for fear the buried air pockets might collapse.

Four children and a woman were saved on Friday, dug out from under tonnes of snow and debris in a remote valley in mountainous central Italy.

"They called us angels when they saw us," Marco Bini, a rescue expert, told the Telegraph.

One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)

Fire service spokesman Luca Cari told Reuters the bodies of two women were also recovered during the night, bringing the known death toll to four. Around 15 people are still unaccounted for.

A tsunami of snow smashed into the spa hotel on Wednesday afternoon, obliterating the four-storey building and spreading debris for hundreds of metres (yards) down the valley in the Gran Sasso park in the heart of Italy.

One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)

Around 30 people had been in the hotel at the time.

Italian media reported early Saturday that a number of other voices had been heard under the rubble, but that it was proving hard to establish where exactly they were. There was no immediate confirmation of this from the emergency services.

One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)

Rescue teams would continue to work night and day until everyone was accounted for, Cari said.

One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)
One of the three children that were rescued from the avalanche-hit Rigopiano Hotel is transported to a hospital in Pescara, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Claudio Lattanzio/ANSA via AP)

Reuters

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