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Fatalities feared in Italian hotel avalanche
Central Italy was struck by at least nine earthquakes on Wednesday

Fatalities feared in Italian hotel avalanche

As many as 30 people are missing after an avalanche struck a hotel in Italy.

Seven staff and more than 20 guests were in the Rigopiano hotel in the Abruzzo region.

The property was hit by an avalanche following an earthquake earlier on Wednesday.

Rescuers battled overnight to reach the hotel, with the first of them arriving on skis.

So far one person has been pulled dead from the snow.

Two more have been found alive, but most others appear to be still buried.

Many are feared to have died.

The roof on the four-star spa hotel, close to the Gran Sasso Mountain, partly collapsed on Wednesday night.

A snowstorm and blocked routes made access to the hotel difficult.

Vehicles struggled to get through the snow, and some rescuers eventually resorted to skis.

Image courtesy: USGS National Earthquake Information Centre