A woman gets assistance after being pulled out from the hotel that was hit by an avalanche on Wednesday, in Rigopiano, central Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.
One boy who identified himself as Edoardo said he had been one of three children trapped, along with one woman, in the same room. The force of the snow reduced much of it to rubble and spread debris across the valley floor.
Four children and a woman were pulled out alive on Friday, and another four adults were extracted overnight as rescuers continued their frantic search for survivors of the disaster.
Firefighter spokesman Alberto Maiolo reported that along with the five adult survivors found so far (and now being treated), four new survivors have been found in the rubble and a total of 30 were believed to be trapped in the hotel.
Farindola Mayor Ilario Lacchetta said the hotel had 24 guests, four of them children, and 12 employees were onsite at the time of the avalanche.
As well as the heavy snow, the region has also had to contend with several strong earthquakes - though it has not been confirmed whether the earthquakes set off the avalanches.
Prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation and were looking into whether the avalanche threat was taken seriously enough, and whether the hotel should have been evacuated earlier, given the heavy snowfall and forecasts.
One surviving hotel guest said everyone had checked out of the hotel but they were stuck there, waiting for the road leading away from the resort to be plowed so they could leave.
A auto covered in snow at Farindola, 7km from the Hotel Rigopiano. But the snowplow never arrived and the avalanche hit around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
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It said one of the first firefighters to be reached had demanded to be let back inside to save his colleagues. Sniffer dogs searched for signs of survivors buried under giant slabs of concrete and heaps of twisted metal.
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