The Latest: Girl pulled from avalanche hotel, wants cookie

January 20, 2017 GMT
Rescuers work in the area of the hotel that was hit by an avalanche on Wednesday, in Rigopiano, central Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Rescue crews located more than eight people alive in the rubble of an avalanche-crushed hotel on Friday, an incredible discovery that boosted spirits two days after the massive snow slide buried around 30 people in the resort. (ANSA via AP)
Rescuers work in the area of the hotel that was hit by an avalanche on Wednesday, in Rigopiano, central Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Rescue crews located more than eight people alive in the rubble of an avalanche-crushed hotel on Friday, an incredible discovery that boosted spirits two days after the massive snow slide buried around 30 people in the resort. (ANSA via AP)

FARINDOLA, Italy (AP) — The Latest on the avalanche that buried a hotel in central Italy (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

A six-year-old girl has been rescued from a hotel devastated by an avalanche in Italy. After two days under tons of snow, what does she want? A cookie.

Family friend Quintino Marcella said he spoke to Ludovica Parete by phone as she was being transported to the hospital Friday evening in the Italian city of Pescara. He says “she is OK. She asked for Ringos.” That’s a round, two-sided chocolate-and-vanilla cookie popular with Italian children.

Ludovica’s entire family survived Wednesday’s avalanche that swept through the Hotel Rigopiano, a resort in the Apennine mountains.

Her dad, Giampiero Parete, happened to be outside the hotel when the avalanche struck and called for help. His wife, Adriana, and son Gianfilippo, 8, were rescued earlier on Friday. The children’s mother then implored rescuers to find Ludovica — and they did, bringing her out in apparently good condition.


9:15 p.m.

Relatives of those still missing in the avalanche-hit hotel in central Italy have been gathering anxiously at the hospital in Pescara, the closest city to the accident site, eagerly awaiting word of their loved ones.

Authorities have been pulling survivors out of the hotel and sending them to this hospital.

Melissa Riccardo says “I just hope that my niece and her boyfriend will make it out of there.”

A few relatives erupted in frustration at a Friday evening press conference, saying they had received no information.

Domenico Angelozzi, who is awaiting news of his sister and brother-in-law, says ” the only news I have has been from the internet.”

The hospital responded that it would only release information about those admitted. The Pescara prefect later came to meet with relatives to soothe frustrations.


8:25 p.m.

Italy’s civil protection chief says five of the 10 people found alive inside an avalanche-covered hotel have been pulled out and that rescue crews are working to get the other five to safety.

Chief Fabrizio Curcio said four of the five extracted alive were children, suggesting that all the children in the hotel at the time of Wednesday’s avalanche were accounted for.

One of the boys who was rescued has been identified: 8-year-old Gianfilippo Parete, who emerged from the structure along with his mother, Adriana Vranceanu, 43.

His father, Giampiero Parete, had sounded the alarm about the avalanche, begging his boss to rally rescue crews. He had walked to the car just minutes before the avalanche struck the hotel.

As Vranceanu emerged she pointed back inside, apparently giving rescue workers directions on how to find her 6-year-old daughter, Ludovica.


5:30 p.m.

An Italian man has been joyfully reunited with his wife and son after those two were rescued from hotel buried by an avalanche.

Giampiero Parete had been spared Wednesday’s avalanche because it had struck when he was out getting medicine in his car for wife, Adriana. She and son Gianfilippo, 8, were safely extracted from the snow-covered debris on Friday.

Rescuers said the mother indicated her 6-year-old daughter Ludovica was also alive amid the debris nearby and rescue workers immediately set to work to find her, too.

Italian media said Parete and wife and son hugged at Pescara hospital, where the woman and child were taken, apparently in good condition.

He had sounded the alarm with telephone calls after the avalanche struck hours after the area was rocked by strong earthquakes.


5:05 p.m.

Firefighter spokesman Luca Cari said so far 10 people have been found alive in the debris of the avalanche-struck Hotel Rigopiano in central Italy.

Cari gave the update late Friday afternoon as rescue workers continued trying to extract survivors from the collapsed buildings of the resort northeast of Rome.

Helicopters were ferrying the survivors to a hospital in Pescara on the Adriatic coast.

Rescuers say four bodies have been found at the since the avalanche struck Wednesday afternoon.


3:15 p.m.

An Italian firefighter says rescue crews have indications of other survivors under the rubble of avalanche-struck hotel in central Italy.

A first group of between six or eight survivors were located by rescuers earlier Friday. They had found an air pocket in the kitchen of the crushed Hotel Rigopiano in Italy’s snow-covered Abruzzo region.

Speaking to Sky TG24, firefighter Giuseppe Romano declined to confirm another five possible survivors. But he said, “Other people have responded to our signals.” About 30 people were believed trapped when the avalanche slammed into the hotel Wednesday afternoon.

Four bodies have been found since Thursday.


2:50 p.m.

There is some discrepancy in the number of people who have been rescued alive from the avalanche-crushed hotel in central Italy.

The ANSA news agency quotes the vice brigadier of Italy’s financial police, Marco Bini, as saying eight people were located alive in two separate operations Friday.

The deputy interior minister, Filippo Bubbico, says the number of survivors located is six. The civil protection operations chief had also confirmed six people located, two of whom — a woman and a boy — were already airlifted out.

The numbers have been fluid throughout the emergency, including exactly how many people are believed buried inside the Hotel Rigopiano, which was slammed by an avalanche Wednesday.


1:30 p.m.

Italian news reports say the number of people found alive under the rubble of the avalanche-crushed hotel in central Italy has risen to eight, including two children.

State-run RAI, Sky TG24 and the ANSA news agency, citing carabineri, raised the initial number of survivors. Earlier, AP staffers reaching the scene on foot overheard firefighter radio reports saying five people had been located and requesting helicopters to bring them to hospitals.

An estimated 30 people were buried under the Hotel Rigopiano in Italy’s snow-bound Abruzzo region after a huge avalanche covered the resort on Wednesday. Two people initially escaped the devastation and called for help.

Four of the guests were children, the town mayor said.


11:50 a.m.

Italian police radio and news reports say five people are believed to have been found alive in the rubble of the avalanche that flattened a mountain resort and that helicopters have been requested to take them to safety.

Two Associated Press staffers overheard police radio chatter when they were turned away from the site of the disaster Friday. The reports said five people were located in the rubble and that helicopters had been requested.

The ANSA news agency said the number was six and that firefighting crews were in touch with them but that they were still under the rubble.


11:10 a.m.

Search and rescue teams are maintaining hope of finding survivors of an avalanche that buried a hotel under up to five meters (15 feet) of snow.

Rescuer Lorenzo Gagliardi told SKY TG24 that “we are hoping that the ceiling collapsed partially in some places and that someone remained underneath.”

The rescue operations have been hampered by difficulty in accessing the remote the Hotel Rigopiano, which was buried in an avalanche with about 30 people inside Wednesday afternoon. Workers have been clearing a seven-kilometer (5.5-mile) road to bring in heavier equipment but it can handle only one-way traffic.

Alpine corps rescuer Milan Walter told SKY that they were considering whether to ferry more personnel in by helicopter as was done Thursday.


10:45 a.m.

Romanians are fearing the worst for a local nurse who began a new life in Italy more than a decade ago, and is one of 30 people trapped with her young children after an avalanche hit a hotel in central Italy where the family was staying.

A local mayor described 43-year-old Adriana Vranceanu as “a pretty and sweet-natured girl” who chose to relocate to Italy about 12 years ago to get treatment for a debilitating rheumatoid arthritis condition which requires injections at about 1,000 euros ($1,060) a shot.

Nicusor Puscasu-Andone, mayor of the village of Corbasca, told The Associated Press that Vranceanu returned every summer to the rural area with her two children, Ludovica, 6, and Gianfilippo, 8,who were with her when the avalanche smashed into the four-star Hotel Rigopiano in the mountains of central Italy.

Her husband Giampiero Parete called his boss when the avalanche struck Wednesday and begged him to mobilize rescue crews.


8:25 a.m.

Rescue crews are continuing the painstaking search for some 30 people trapped inside a remote Italian mountain resort flattened by a huge avalanche.

Italy’s civil protection agency on Friday said the search continued throughout the night with searchlights, and would accelerate with the arrival of daylight. So far two bodies have been recovered, and RAI state TV said two more bodies have been located in the snow.

The search has been hampered by snow blocking the only road in, concern that the buildings would collapse and fear of triggering a fresh avalanche. The first rescue teams arrived on skis, and firefighters were dropped in by helicopter.

Officials said that overnight the road was widened to bring in heavier vehicles to aid with the search.