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

 25 Jan 2017 - 12:03

Italy avalanche death toll rises to 23, six people still missing
This video grab shows rescuers working to evacuate the bodies of six people killed in an helicopter crash, on January 24, 2017 in the mountains near the ski resort of Campo Felice, central Italy. The chopper came down near the ski resort of Campo Felice in thick fog during an operation to evacuate an injured skier. The region is already reeling from a series of earthquakes and last week's deadly avalanche. / AFP / STR


FARINDOLA, Italy: 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.