Italy avalanche death toll rises to 12 as 3 bodies found

 24 Jan 2017 - 12:06

Italy avalanche death toll rises to 12 as 3 bodies found
A handout picture released on January 23, 2017 by the Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico (CNSAS) shows rescue teams working at the avalanche-hit Hotel Rigopiano, near the village of Farindola, on the eastern lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain. Italian rescuers pulled nine survivors from the hotel hit by an avalanche on January 18, 2016 and continue to search the 23 people still trapped under the ruins. / AFP.


FARINDOLA, Italy: Rescuers working through the night pulled three more bodies from the wreck of a hotel in central Italy that was razed by an avalanche last week, bringing the death toll to 12, the national fire brigade said on Tuesday.

Eleven people so far have been rescued from in and around the hotel in the Gran Sasso national park, some of them surviving for two days under ice and rubble.

But 17 people are still missing after a wall of snow crashed into the four-storey building last Wednesday, hours after earthquakes shook the region.

The three latest victims found were men but they still have not been identified, officials said.

The first funerals are due to be held later on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in nearby Pescara have opened an investigation into the avalanche.