Rigopiano Hotel avalanche: Six bodies found, 14 still missing
Six more bodies have been found in the ruins of the mountain hotel in Italy engulfed by an avalanche six days ago.
In the past few hours, the bodies of four men and two women have been recovered, reports say, bringing the total number of victims to 15.
But 14 people remain unaccounted for and rescuers say there is still a faint hope that some could still be alive.
Firefighters are trying to punch a hole through an 80cm (2 ft 7 in) concrete wall into the hotel bar.
“We are working on the theory that the avalanche did not necessarily hit or destroy every room and that we haven’t yet reached the heart of the structure,” said spokesman Luca Cari.
He said rescuers were working around the clock and still hoped to find survivors. So far, 11 people have been found alive.
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The first funerals were being held on Tuesday. Chief waiter Alessandro Giancaterino was among the first laid to rest in the next village of Farindola, while fellow waiter Gabriele D’Angelo was being buried a few kilometres away.
Rescuers had been able to excavate a path into the hotel which allows access for heavy machinery, Mr Cari said.
They will now try to create a shaft through the 80cm concrete wall dividing the bar from the kitchen, in the hope that there could be an air pocket – and possible survivors – in the space behind.
As the search continued, a rescue team was sent from the base co-ordinating the avalanche operation to help in an unrelated helicopter crash near by, state broadcaster Rai reported.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella has called for a “united effort and common front in the face of disaster”. But further concerns have been raised about the emergency services’ handling of the disaster.
Details have emerged of an emergency phone call between a restaurant owner and a senior official at the local authority co-ordinating rescues in Pescara. A transcript has been published by Italian daily La Repubblica.
At 18:20 local time (19:20 GMT), after the hotel’s collapse, Quintino Marcello tells the official that his chef, Giampiero Parete, who was staying at the Rigopiano, contacted him on Whatsapp five minutes before.
“The Rigopiano hotel has collapsed, there’s nothing left. He’s there with his wife and little children. Act immediately. Go up there!”
But La Repubblica says the official insists the hotel is fine and that the fire brigade checked it out during the morning. It was a barn containing sheep at a farm that had collapsed, the official says.
Mr Parete had already contacted emergency services some time before, La Repubblica says, but they checked with the hotel owner, Bruno di Tommaso, who told them he was unaware of an avalanche – though he was not at the scene.
Earlier, relatives of the missing complained that the snow-bound hotel should have been evacuated before the avalanche hit late on Wednesday afternoon. One relative, Alessio Feniello, accused authorities of wrongly telling him that his son, Stefano, had been rescued.
It has also emerged that the hotel owner sent the authorities an email asking for help a few hours before the avalanche, saying that guests were “terrorised by the earthquakes and have decided to stay out in the open”.
Source: BBC News
I chose this article because I am curious as to how so many bodies are still missing from the avalanche. The avalanche has struck a hotel, but still only a few bodies were found, and many more are still being searched for. Even though it is a natural disaster, and no one can prevent it from happening, it still takes the lives of families and friends.
This article’s lead is already great. The quotes used are direct and indirect, and the way the writer uses them are accurate. Moreover, the article includes the 5W+1H, which makes it better. How the writer writes the title is already intriguing, which makes me want to read more about it. What I really like is the structure, going from something that is general to the more specific details. All in all, it a great article to read about.