Four more people have been found alive in the ruins of Hotel Rigopiano in the Italian mountains after it was hit by an avalanche. And now there are hopes that even more survivors may be found at the hotel, which was buried under several feet of snow following four earthquakes in central Italy.
Two men and two women were the latest people to be rescued from the site, after firemen spent hours digging carefully to ensure that the snow they were moving did not cause any further collapse. After managing to get the four to safety, rescuers revealed that they were sure they could hear more people from beneath the snow.
This latest rescue follows that of four children and a woman who were dug out on Friday. The hotels two dogs, Wolf and Cloud, were also found to be alive at the remote resort in the Italian Alps. Fire service spokesman Alberto Maiolo confirmed that rescuers believed they had heard noises, but that they could not be sure if there were still people alive under the snow and debris.
Torn from its foundation
The force of the avalanche was so great that the whole three-storey building was ripped from its foundations and carried 30ft before coming to a half. Images from the hotel show that while some rooms are relatively clear, snow forced its way into corridors and stairwells.
A total of 23 people are still believed to be missing following the disaster, while five bodies have been found. Rescuers have heard voices under the snow, but are finding it hard to locate exactly where they are coming from. The very snow which trapped them has acted like an igloo, providing insulation from the freezing temperatures outside, which might otherwise have proved fatal. Two guests were found outside the building following the avalanche, bringing the total of survivors now to 11.