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Italy avalanche: Baby girl among six found alive in Hotel Rigopiano

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Six people - including a baby girl - have been found alive in the Italian hotel buried in an avalanche on Wednesday, say rescuers, reported Sky News.

Fire brigade spokesman Luca Cari said: "They are alive and we are talking to them."

The survivors have spent at least 40 hours buried in the snow and rubble.

Helicopters are on their way to the Hotel Rigopiano to ferry the survivors to safety.

Up to 30 people were reported missing after the avalanche buried the hotel in central Italy.

So far four dead bodies have been found.

The four-star hotel is in a remote, mountainous region and rescuers had to use skis to reach the scene.

The main road was blocked off by heavy snow and gaining access has proved extremely difficult.

Four powerful earthquakes struck the region on Wednesday but it is unclear whether any of these triggered the avalanche just hours later.

The 300-metre wide snow slide uprooted trees and wiped out parts of the four-storey hotel, trapping dozens of people, including two children.

Two people did get out when the avalanche struck - they had been outside when disaster struck.

Survivor Giampaolo Parete reportedly told doctors he escaped the avalanche because he left the hotel to fetch something from his car, but his wife and two children were still inside.

The 38-year-old chef called his boss, restaurant owner Quintino Marcella, for help, saying: "The hotel isn't there anymore. It's disappeared. It's buried."

Mr Marcella criticised the response, claiming no one took him seriously when he alerted authorities.


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