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Italy earthquakes: Text messages emerge from Hotel Rigopiano guests buried in avalanche

The Independent logo The Independent 19/01/2017 Samuel Osborne

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Text messages have emerged from guests trapped inside an Italian hotel buried in an avalanche.

"Help, we're dying of cold," one couple trapped inside wrote to rescuers, according to Ansa.

Another man, identified by news reports as Fabio Salzetta, sent a text message saying he had escaped with a maintenance worker, but that others were trapped inside. 

Corriere della Sera quoted the text message as saying: "Some walls were knocked down."

And: "I'm outside with a maintenance worker but you can't see anything of the hotel, there's only a wall of snow in front of me." 

Rescue workers were met with an eerie silence when they reached the Hotel Rigopiano, which has been struck by an avalanche in the mountainous earthquake-stricken region of Abruzzo.

Thirty people, including two children, are missing, authorities said.

<div class="dnd-widget-wrapper context-sdl_editor_representation type-image" style="font-size:13px;"><div class="dnd-caption-wrapper">Italian media said the avalanche covered the three-storey Hotel Rigopiano, in the town of Farindola (Virgili del Fuoco)</div><div></div></div> © Provided by Independent Print Limited

Italian media said the avalanche covered the three-storey Hotel Rigopiano, in the town of Farindola (Virgili del Fuoco)
Mountain rescue teams reached the hotel by skis around 4am (3am GMT). Two men who were outside the building at the time of the disaster and raised the alarm.

"I am alive because I went to get something from my car," one of the two, Giampiero Parete, told medical staff, according to la Repubblica website.

He told doctors his wife and two children were buried in the avalanche.

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