Op-Ed: Italy is going through a tough time.
Three days ago a series of earthquakes resulted in an avalanche that buried the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola Italy along with around 30 people, guests and staff. Saturday a coach carrying Hungarian students, aged between 14 and 18, their teachers and some family members came off the road near the city of Verona and burst into flames; 16 people have died and around 40 are reported injured. The coach reportedly crashed into a bridge pillar on the motorway near Verona at about 11pm on Friday.
If there is any good news it is that since Friday survivors have been pulled from the buried hotel.
After two-days and surviving in freezing cold conditions the death toll was expected to be high.
But the Telegraph reported Saturday morning "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."
One young boy rescued Friday said "we were playing billiards" when the avalanche struck.
Saturday morning the death toll rose to five and about 15 people are still recorded as missing.
The Hotel still features on Booking.com but currently with a red note which reads "We’re sorry, but this property isn’t taking reservations on our site right now. Don’t worry, you can find tons of other nearby properties right here !"
On January 19 BBC News reported rescuers had found no signs of life at the hotel. The hotel is located in a secluded area which is part of its appeal to guests. The location however has added problems to the rescue. Text messages got through to rescuers though and one hotel guest escaped having gone to get something from his car, but his wife and children were trapped inside.
More as available